Lexington Is Serious D-II Title Contender

Tanner Kerns.

The Lexington football program is coming off a remarkable season in 2008. The Fighting Minutemen went undefeated in the regular season before falling to eventual Division-II state champion Sylvania Southview in the playoffs. The expectations are high for 2009. Bill Greene was on hand for Lexington's scrimmage with Massillon and filed this report.

The resurgence of the Lexington football program began with the hiring of B.J. Payne. Payne, a former Mount Union star, has revived the Fighting Minutemen program, and has established himself as one of the top coaches in Ohio.

In 2008 Lexington finished the regular season undefeated and advanced to the state playoffs, where they fell to eventual state champion Sylvania Southview.

Tuesday morning the Fighting Minutemen established themselves as contenders in Division-II once again. Lexington scrimmaged Division-I powerhouse Massillon and more than held their own, possibly being the more dominant team.

Senior quarterback Courtney Avery, a Michigan commit, is the obvious leader of this team and he was in mid-season form against Massillon. Avery shined on both sides of the football and is poised to have a strong senior season. Avery was exceptional as a defensive back, the position Michigan has recruited him to play.

From a recruiting standpoint there were four underclassmen that showed themselves worthy of being tracked closely over the next few years. All four showed possible Division-I college potential.

Sophomore quarterback Colin Michael was a standout earlier this spring at the Scout Combine in Cincinnati. Michael was equally impressive against Massillon. The 6-foot-4 signal caller showed a live arm and above average athleticism. Michael will back up Avery this season but figures to see a lot of time as Payne looks to get him some experience before he takes over in 2010.

Sophomore Tanner Kerns, 6-foot-4, shows promise as a future tight end at the next level. Kerns possesses great hands and has the frame to add weight and strength. He resembles current Ohio State tight end Nic DiLillo, and has a chance to be a college recruit in two years if he continues to develop.

Freshman safety Michael Boles will see varsity action this year as a second team performer. Boles has good size and appears to have the athleticism needed to be able to compete at such a young age.

Freshman linebacker Andrew Hunt will also see varsity action in 2009. Hunt is ultra-aggressive and has earned a role as a backup for Lexington. Hunt had a strong showing against Massillon and is a player to watch in the future.

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