Life is full of strange twist. One minute you're ready to battle your former teammates, the next you learn your former school has accused your new school of recruiting you.
That has been the life of former Xenia standout Martin Channels during the past week. What started off with issues ranging from coaches and administrators at Xenia using the standout to benefit themselves by attending games they wouldn't have had a chance to otherwise, to issues the Channels family would like to keep private, has blown up to a full scale battle between the school and it's former star defensive player.
What caused the Channels family to move from Xenia to Huber Heights in the middle of their son's senior seasons? That is a question many have asked and many have guessed on message boards across the state without finding out both sides of the story.
While Xenia Head Coach Ed Mignery was quoted in a recent Dayton Daily News article saying there has been a lot of misinformation, he stressed he felt that Channels and himself were getting along. But the facts remain that several questions have come up about game tickets for the OSU, Texas game. Here is what we've learned so far.
Leading up to the Ohio State vs. Texas game, Channels learned he would be attending the big game as a possible Ohio State recruit. Recruits are issued three tickets that are held at the recruits will call to be signed for by only the recruit. But while Channels was excited about having the chance to view the game, he didn't expect that it would not be with a family member or friend. Instead, Channels was told Xenia Athletic Director David Wedderburn would be going with him and using the second ticket and also the third ticket for another of his guest.
After speaking with his family, Channels learned his father couldn't attend the game, so he informed Mr. Wedderburn of this and said he could use one of the tickets and that he (Channels) would be driving himself to the game. Mr. Wedderburn informed Channels he wasn't to drive but to ride with him. After thinking about the situation Channels decided not to attend the game and told Mr. Wedderburn of his decision.
After further thought Channels felt it would look bad to the coaching staff at Ohio State if he didn't attend the game and decided to attend at the last minute. Once there he ran into Xenia Head Coach Ed Mignery and Mr. Wedderburn as Channels sat with former Xenia player and lifelong friend Donnie Evege. Evege, who enrolled at Wayne, last year, was also at the game with his father. But with all the hustle going on at the time, the two didn't have much time to talk about old times.
In between all of this came a phone conversations between Coach Ed Mignery and Mr. Channels about the issue of using the kids so other school members can view games they might not have been able to attend. During these conversations its believed voices were raised and Coach Mignery cursed and ended the call by slamming the phone to hang up with Mr. Channels. Also in this time other issues came up that saw the benching of the other Channels son from the JV game for an unknown issue and Martin Channels being told not to speak to Donnie Evege because he was a traitor and not part of the Xenia family. Evege who left Xenia and moved to Huber Heights after last football season is believed to have gone throught some of the same issues involving a Ohio State game last fall.
After much deep thought, Mr. Channels felt it best to remove his two sons from the Xenia school district he's supported for so long. Gone are the times of Mr. Channels tailgating and painting the Xenia helmet on the family's home. All the while their former coach is trying to make it seem as if the Channels family had done wrong and Martin Channels was a spoiled brat running away from a problem. Also before Martin Channels enrolled at Wayne, it's believed Coach Mignery placed calls to Wayne Head Coach Jay Minton about the issue of Channels leaving. Coach Minton told Coach Mignery he hadn't spoke with Channels or anyone in the Channels family, but would stress to Martin and his family if they enrolled at Wayne he didn't think it was right to leave during the middle of the season. Coach Minton also told Coach Mignery about the same issue involving a player at Wayne who left just the week before and enrolled at Centerville. The former player played defensive tackle this season and is one of the schools top wrestlers. The former athlete left Wayne and enrolled at Centerville and is playing now for the Elks.
After receiving clearance to play in last week's game against Springfield South, Coach Minton didn't feel right allowing a player who only practiced one time that week to play in front of others who had worked hard all week. But Channels would be looked at during tonight's contest against his former team Xenia to make his first mark on the Warriors defensive line. With OHSAA clearance Channels was set to play, but Wayne High School was informed late Friday afternoon that Channels was eligible to play, but Xenia High School had requested an investigation into recruiting allegations against Wayne High School and any findings could come back and hurt the team for any games Martin Channels would play in.
With all the information Ohio Prep Scene learned about this situation, it's believed Xenia made the request to keep Channels out of tonight's game knowing the facts leading up to his transfer will find no wrong doing on anyone's part.
Ohio Prep Scene spoke with Wayne Head Coach Jay Minton late Friday and he had the following comments. "I've said from the beginning, if all the t's haven't been crossed and I's dotted, we wouldn't risk the future of this team as a whole. I've spoke with Martin and he understands what is at stake not just tonight, but in the weeks ahead. I can assure you that Wayne High School had no part and never will have any part of recruiting players. We will allow the OHSAA to do their job and look forward to Martin joining the team on the field when all is settled."
Over the past week several articles have been written by the Dayton Daily News, almost all of them have been slanted by the administration at Xenia High School and its football coach Ed Mignery while very few words have been spoken by the Channels family. Look for more to come out in the coming days about what really happened at Xenia and with the Channels family in this matter.
Ohio Prep Scene has followed football recruiting for several years. We've never seen anything like this during that time. If the following is true, then the coaching staff at Xenia is taking advantage of their players by getting perks they otherwise wouldn't receive. It's also being reported by reliable sources someone on the Xenia staff has called a couple of the colleges recruiting Channels to inform them that he's a trouble maker and ask the colleges to stop recruiting him. Ohio Prep Scene has had the pleasure to speak with Martin Channels way before any of this occurred. What we found was a great kid who loves football and likes to get a long with everyone. He's always been polite and seemed to be adored by his teammates at the times of our visits.