Look for plenty scoring at the North-South Classic games
It’s no secret. Fans want to see offense.
Hence, the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association sets up the rules for its North-South Classic to give the fans what they want.
And that’s just fine with Brian Colatruglio, the Columbian coach who today will serve as head coach for the North in the big school (Divisions I, II and III) game.
“The rules are set up to throw the ball,” said Colatruglio. “They’re very specific on how you can align. You got to play all man coverage. They want an exciting game and set rules up to make it a fun game to play in and watch.”
With that being the case, Colatruglio said he’s looking forward to coaching the two quarterbacks on his roster, Kyle Kempt from Massillon, an Oregon State recruit, and Toledo Whitmer’s Nick Holley.
“Kempt is a prototypical pro-looking quarterback, 6-5, cannon for an arm,” Colatruglio described. Holley is 6-foot tall, more of a runner and a tough kid. It makes it really fun to call plays.”
While coaching at Columbian, it was fun for Colatruglio to call plays for running back Jack Jacoby, who will play one more time for Colatruglio today. Though the Columbian standout said he will be used primarily on the defensive side of the ball.
Jacoby says he’s looking forward to the challenge of stopping a high-powered offense, comprised of the top talent in the state.
“You definitely got to show case your skills when it’s stacked against you,” he said. “It will either be really fun or really embarrassing.”
On the other side of things is Mohawk’s Drew Loose, who is one of two North quarterbacks in the small school game (Division IV, V and VI).
Loose will play the running-quarterback role in the two-quarterback set up with Nick Peyakov of Akron Manchester as the passing quarterback.
“The other QB will throw most of the time and I’ll be more of a runner,” Loose said. “I’m going to make the best of it, take advantage of my opportunities. Play my best and make my school proud.”
Early practices brought both North teams together on the same field, putting Division-1 college recruits up against some of the state’s best small-school players.
Calvert defensive end Jared Thompson said he’ll always remember the chance to practice against a future Big Ten player.
“That was something special. I was going against a Michigan recruit, that was unbelievable,” he said. “It’s memories like that I won’t forget. The average d-lineman for us is 6-1, 6-2. Their average lineman is 6-8. But I was able to hold my own against him and make some plays.”
When bringing together a collection of all-stars from all over the state, you might worry about the egos that would be involved. But Colatruglio said that was far from the case.
“It’s been awesome,” he said. “They’ve come in and have worked hard everytime we been together. These are the best players in the state of Ohio. They checked their egos at the door and came in and worked. You think a few of these guys might be prima donnas, but we haven’t seen any of that. It’s a pleasure to coach guys this coach. They’ve been real respectful, willing to work, willing to learn.”
“You’d be surprised on how little ego there was,” Jacoby added. “Just a lot of guys out there working hard. No ones saying there better that anyone else.”
The big-school game kickoffs at 4 p.m. and is followed by the small-school game at 7 p.m. The game can be watched live on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel.