We take a look at the ELks for the 2003 season and what may lay ahead. Can the Elks keep on track after a very good 2002 season. Read and find out.


TEAM: Centerville Elks

HEAD COACH: Ron Ullery

Coach Ullery has been a coach at Centerville High School since 1977. Coach Ullery is a graduate of Brookville High School and Bowling Green State University. His first job at Centerville was coaching the offensive line. He served as Offensive Coordinator from 1988 to present. Coach Ullery has been the Elks head coach since the 2000 season. At this time Coach Ullery is also the schools Athletic Director.

BIGGEST RIVAL: While Kettering Fairmont is always a great contest, the Wayne Warriors are the team Centerville loves to beat. In the last couple of years South and Xenia have given the Elks other teams to think about. But nothing beats the Warriors and Elks on a Friday nigh. If both teams come in with great records look for a crowd of 10,000 plus in the stands.

2002 RECORD: 8 - 2 loses to Xenia and Wayne keep the Elks from making a playoff run.

PLAYERS TO WATCH 2003: Tom Tamaska (FB) - Eric Larrimer (OL) - Tom Ingham (OL) - Sean Ullery (DE) - Tony Thomas (LB)

KEY POSITION: Quarterback - The Elks will be looking for a quarterback to take the place of Zach Taylor.

2003 GAMES: (FROM WEEK 1-10) Fairfield, Middletown, Troy, Trotwood, Spfld. North, Fairmont, Xenia, Spfld. South, Wayne, Beavercreek

OPS PROJECTION: The Elks will have a big test with Trotwood, Springfield South, Xenia and Wayne. They must spilt against these teams to have a chance for a playoff run.

The Elks and Rams should come into this game with matching 3-0 records. Coach Douglass of Trotwood will find much hasn't changed with the Elks over the years, and will try and use his teams speed against the Elks. OhioPrepScene calls this one close and at this time will give the edge to the Elks with it being a home game and the first real test for the Rams. If the Rams win this one the Miami Valley better look out for them.

The next big test will come from local rival Fairmont. With a new coach in place, OhioPrepScene calls this an Elk win. The only thing to keep an eye out for in this one will be if the Elks look over Fairmont and ahead to Xenia. At this time the Elks should be sitting with a perfect record and the real test will begin. In the next three weeks the Elks will play Xenia at home and have travel dates with South and Wayne.

Against the Buc's the Elks will find a team looking for a playoff run. While this is a home game it could go either way just as in 2002 when the Buc's won by 3. Winner of this game will have a great chance to make a playoff run. I will give this one to the Elks for one reason only. Xenia plays Wayne the week before. The Buc's have not been able to beat the Warriors and another loss to Wayne could take the energy out of the Buc's.

This brings us to South. With its wide open offense and team speed the Wildcats give the Elks trouble. The Elks will see a tight game but not as tight as last seasons 1 point win. OhioPrepScene looks for the Elks to lose this one with the game on South's turf. If the Elks pull of the win they should be in the driver seat for the conference championship and a playoff run.

The following week brings out the best in the Elks. For many years the Elks knew they would and could beat the Wayne Warriors. But during the last few seasons the Warriors have not only beaten the Elks they have destroyed them. Last season was no fluke in how the Warriors shut down every aspect of the Elks game. Not only was the loss at home, it was on a night the Elks look forward to, Alumni Night. Other than Piqua - Troy, no two teams hate each other more than the Warriors and Elks. Since Coach Minton has arrived at Wayne the Warriors have worked to surpass the Elks for the top DI school in the Miami Valley. In the last 4 years they have done just that. Look for Coach Ullery and staff to have the Elks ready and willing to give everything they have. But at this time the Warriors may be sitting in a better position having played host to Springfield North the week before. The Elks make the trip to Huber Heights this season and we see another Elk loss against the Warriors. Will it be a loss like last season? We don't think so. This is going to be a old style WAR between two teams and schools who can't stand one another.

With that said the Elks will be looking to stop the bleeding and put a win on the board. What better team to do this with then Beavercreek. The Beavers are a team that has not figured out how to win in Football. Until the Beavers get serious about football they never will have a chance. With it being the last home game for many seniors the Elk close out the season with a big win and a hope for a chance to play the following week.

OPS 2003 RECORD: 7-2-1 In looking at how the Elks season may go we feel they could be as good as a 9-1 or see an 8-2 or 7-3 record. If the Elks return to old form and find a way to beat Xenia, South and Wayne look out. Coach Ullery will have a team ready to make a strong run in the playoffs. Many things can change how the Elks season goes, injuries and player replacement always make for possible problems but OhioPrepScene see a good year ahead and Elk Pride as strong as ever. Stay with OhioPrepScene for more on the Centerville Elks. We had a chance to sit down with Coach Ullery last week and are working on that article. Also were working on a story about a question about Elk Pride and what it means. So any of you Elk supporters please feel free to e-mail me with your feelings about Elk Pride and what it means to you.

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