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High schools | Camps open: ‘It’s football season, baby’

By 

Mark Znidar

The Columbus Dispatch

Tuesday August 6, 2013 5:36 AM

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Eamon Queeney | Dispatch

The Hilliard Davidson offensive line works out during the first two-a-day. The Wildcats return 14 players from last year’s 10-3 squad that finished as a regional finalist.

The morning practice had just concluded with eight 100-yard sprints, and Worthington Kilbourne
football coach Vince Trombetti hustled to a mass huddle of players in an end zone.

Trombetti is entering his 34th season in the high-school game, but he still has a lot of little
boy inside him.

“Any of you see the Hall of Fame game last night?” Trombetti said of Sunday’s game between the
Dallas Cowboys and the Miami Dolphins in Canton. “Did you see how the stands in the stadium were
packed with people? You know why? Because it’s football season, baby.”

It was the first day of practice for most teams in the state, and for most players and coaches,
it was like unwrapping a gift.

At Hilliard Davidson, though, coach Brian White was disappointed with the first of three
practices. In his estimation, the Wildcats did not look like they had 14 starters returning from a
playoff team.

“Too many mistakes,” he said. “I thought we looked lethargic. If the second practice doesn’t get
better, we’re going to condition tomorrow for the first time in a long time.”

Davidson senior safety and receiver Nick Stull admitted he might not have gotten enough sleep —
but not because he stayed out late having a good time.

“I couldn’t wait for this,” Stull said. “Football is starting again. I got up at 4:30 in the
morning. I got up at 5:30. Then I got up for good at 6:30. I couldn’t sleep. Just being back at it
is exciting.”

Most teams are never away from the game long. Players lift weights, run and play catch without
supervision during the winter and spring, and the OHSAA allows 10 practice days during the
summer.

Just last week, Kilbourne participated in seven-on-seven scrimmages at Dublin Jerome and
Bucyrus, where it finished first out of 12 teams.

The Wolves, led by 22 seniors, have worked hard because they don’t want a repeat of 2012, when
they finished 3-7 and lost four games by a total of 15 points.

“It’s crazy being a senior,” center and defensive tackle Joe Schick said. “There is no one to
look up to. Everyone else is looking at you. The seniors have to set the tone. … I am not tired.
I was ready to go.”

Kilbourne senior linebacker and punter Taylor Wilson said the hard work was done during the
winter so practices can run smoothly.

“We were ready,” he said. “The coaches do a great job of preparing us for what we need to
do.”

Not all of what Kilbourne coaches do deals with football. After the first practice, Trombetti
and his assistants sat behind tables collecting money from players who went door to door selling
discount cards from local businesses. It’s a boon for the booster club.

There would be no lunch for Trombetti, who also organizes a golf outing and a meat and fish
sale.

“I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night for a couple of reasons,” he said. “No. 1, I was
excited. No. 2, I was asking myself, ‘Do I have all the forms completed? Do I have all the
paperwork done?’ A lot of this job is business.”

The same goes for the Worthington Kilbourne players. The Wolves were told they must have
prescription medicines and inhalers in marked plastic bags and in the hands of trainers before
every practice. Lockers must be secured. Each player must weigh in after practice.

Senior defensive back and kick returner Seth Hill had it all down, especially the wind sprints.
He led every one.

“We have a program called ‘Bigger, Faster and Stronger’ in the offseason, and it’s tough,” Hill
said. “Today I was ready. I wanted to win every sprint.”

mznidar@dispatch.com

@markznidar

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