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Posted On: 06/20/18 9:23 PM
The Ohio Heritage Conference has been on the rise over the past two seasons. Come postseason time, the conference has had at least one representative school make a run to the District title (Southeastern in 2017 and Catholic Central in 2018). Many of Dayton’s under the radar players reside in the conference and 2018-19 should be a breakout year for several guys as they enter their senior year this upcoming season. Here is a look at my 5 predictions for the OHC this season.
1. Catholic Central will win the South Division again
It’s hard to see the Irish not winning the South division again this year. They return arguably one of the top backcourts in the OHC in Trey Dunn (2019) and Sabien Doolittle (2019) as well as 2nd Team All-OHC Mykah Eichie (2019). With the experience they bring back, the Irish will have an easier road to an OHC title, especially with last year’s runner-up Greeneview losing their top player in Mason Schneider.
2. Fairbanks will be the surprise team this season
The Panthers don’t appear to be the favorites, but they are definitely the dark horse of the conference. Cross Hackathorne (2019) is one of the most underrated players in the conference and has been a huge help for Fairbanks the past two seasons. With him plus 3rd Team All-OHC Jacob Nicol (2019) returning, the Panthers should have a talented core that can get them into second place in the OHC North.
3. POY could be a battle between 4 players
There appears to be 4 guys that could take home the POY award in 2018-19. Doolittle from Catholic Central has been a great utility player for the Irish and should be one of the favorites early on. Charlie Bertemes (2019) from Southeastern is a high scoring guard that stepped into a bigger role last season with several starters graduating from a District runner up team the year before. He could have a big season and be in the running as well. Hackathorne from Fairbanks is another senior to watch and is considered one of the top two favorites to win. Finally, Cedarville guard Colby Cross (2020) is the top non-senior prospect to win. Cross has had a huge summer and if it carries over into November, he will be another favorite.
4. West Jefferson will be successful again, but West Liberty-Salem will struggle
West Jeff brings back 1st Team All-OHC players Ben Casey (2019) and Scotty Hunter (2019) and should be a front runner in the OHC North. The Roughriders will look to improve on last season’s inaugural season in the OHC with another championship. With Casey and Hunter, I see West Jeff being successful again. The Tigers from WL-Salem will struggle however, and we do not expect them to repeat last season’s runner up finish in the North division. 4 All-OHC players graduated and we do not see the Tigers filling those voids this season.
5. Cedarville is one more season away from being a top team
The Indians finished 5-17 last season and placed 4th in the OHC South. Although we do not see them competing for a division title in 2018-19, we expect them to be one of the top teams in the OHC come 2019-20. Colby Cross is one of the top young players in the conference and has shown he can be a dominant scorer. Trent Koening (2021) is another young player that with another year of development can become a 1-2 punch with Cross.