CLAYTON — More than 170 players in middle and high school participated in the annual Northmont Football Camp held July 22 – 25 at Premier Health Stadium.
A total of 88 varsity players consisting of sophomores, juniors and seniors, more than 30 freshmen, more than 20 eighth graders and 30-plus seventh graders learned fundamental skills during the four day camp.
“The great thing about the seventh and eighth grade that I am so excited about is the coaching staffs,” said Varsity head coach Tony Broering. “I’ve got some former players that have come back to the program to help me out. They are great kids that played for me and I couldn’t be happier to have them back. For the seventh grade I’ve got Paul Winkler back, who is one of the first kids I ever coached when I came to Northmont. He played running back and is just a fantastic person. For the eighth grade some of the best kids I ever coached are back including Jimmy Saul, Nick Boyd, and K.J. Rieder that are helping coach, so I am really excited about the direction of the middle school program just because those guys are around.”
Even though the high school team lost a lot of talent to graduation, Broering feels confident that other players will be able to fill those voids.
“We have had some kids step-up and we have some outstanding leaders in our senior class starting with Keaton Kesling at quarterback and Christian Cvetnic at defensive back,” Broering said. “Christian is a three-year starter and is a fantastic kid, a great athlete and has done a tremendous job this week of being a leader of the whole team.”
Broering feels the senior class has a plethora of talent.
“A big reason we went 10-2 last year is because of the incoming senior class, which played key roles for us. Last year’s seniors got most of the publicity and rightfully so… Miles Johnson, Gabe Newburg, Jestin Jacobs, and Danny Lewis and guys like that, but the class behind them, a lot of them played keys roles. Players like Seth Frantz (OL), Jaiden Cameron (DL), Shaun Myers (LB), so now it’s their team and they have done a really good job.”
Another reason Broering believes the Thunderbolts will have another solid season is the great coaching staff he has in place. Luke Hurst, wide receivers and tight ends coach, came on board after he and Broering hit it off one day talking, and they weren’t even discussing football.
“We were talking about things outside of football, but we had a lot of things in common and I convinced him to come out last year to help us,” Broering said of another former Northmont player who wants to give back to the program. “I mean, I really couldn’t ask for a better staff.”
The staff includes many former players including defensive backs coach Chris Stanley, linebackers coach Jake Myers, running backs coach Mark Mays, defensive line coach Clay Mangen, kickers coach Mike Jewsikow (former varsity girls soccer coach), offensive line coach Nick Frantz, defensive line coach John “Bamm-Bamm” Brands, offensive line coach John Bass and defensive coordinator Mike Mangen.
“The Mangen name at Northmont is like one of the names of Mt. Rushmore in Northmont football lore. Having Mike around has really been great,” Broering stated. “When I first came here in 2009 as an assistant coach, we were both in the booth… I was doing offense and was doing defense, and we just hit it off right away. We had a lot of similar interests, we are about the same age, and held a lot of similar beliefs about football and the life lessons that it can teach you. So when the opportunity arose to get him back on the staff, I approached him and it has been great to have him back.”
Broering has been extremely happy with the effort and the attitude of his players this year. Add to that fact that some of his recent graduates who signed to play college football with some major schools like Michigan and Iowa also came back to camp this year to visit and to help coach.
“All week this week it has been like a big reunion of players coming back,” Broering noted. “I mentioned some of the former players that are coaching with us now, but the kids that graduated that came back to help like Logan Jewsikow, and Donavin Wallace who has the heart of a teacher and who is going to be a great coach someday, and Avery Miliner came back to help the running backs. Gabe Newburg was also here last night, so that is the other great thing about Northmont football. It is a tradition. This is the 60th anniversary of the founding of Northmont and when you get guys like that to come back to help it is special. They have a million other things that they could be doing. They have their own football seasons to get ready for, training to do… all of the demands of being a college athlete, but they come out here for a couple of hours every night to help and it has been great. It is really awesome to see all of them back.”
Two-a-day practices start Aug. 1. Northmont will hold its first scrimmage at home vs. Hilliard Bradley on Friday, Aug. 9. The second scrimmage takes place at Franklin on Saturday, Aug. 17 and concludes with a scrimmage at Piqua on Friday, Aug. 23. The Thunderbolts open the 2019 season at home vs. Dublin Coffman.