Football team undefeated, fueled by Dietz and underclassmen

Cody Pomeranz

By Jules Cantor, ’11, Sports Editor

What the 2009 CCDS football team lacks in senior participation, it certainly makes up for with young talent. With only five seniors on the roster, it is imperative that sophomores and freshmen step up and go beyond the call of duty for most underclassmen. Sophomores Ben Valido, Arjun Minhas, Devere Highsmith, Reed Davis, Evan Finch, and Anthony McDaniel are all expected to play large roles on the defensive side of the ball. Valido and Minhas are two up-and-coming linebackers, while Highsmith and McDaniel look to be contributors on a defensive line anchored by senior tackle Matt Lesser. Davis and Finch will be critical in stopping the outside run and limiting the opponent’s ability to pass the ball in the defensive secondary.

On the offensive side of the ball, Minhas will also see some time at running back, and Vincent Hardin, ’12, will contribute at guard on a line that also features tackles Lesser and Matthew Mack, ’10; guard Clint Thomas, ’10; and center Jules Cantor, ’11. Certainly the most exciting sophomore to watch this season is quarterback Jake Dietz, ’12, who takes over the reins from his older brother, Alex Dietz, ’09. Jake will be handing the ball off to Wyatt Tiffany, ’11, who stars at fullback and linebacker, and to CCDS’s “Mr. Everything,” Max Dietz, ’10, who led the team in receiving and rushing yards a year ago. The younger Dietz will also find targets downfield in Davis and Dietz, as well as tight end Will Duncan, ’11. According to Head Coach Tim Dunn, Jake is “certainly on schedule,” as through three games, Dietz has thrown only one interception and has connected twice with the elder Dietz in the end zone.

While the underclassmen certainly have strength over the seniors in numbers, the seniors lack nothing in the leadership department. Max Dietz is the team captain, along with fellow senior Lawrence Ervin, who is lost for the season due to injury. Coach Dunn explains that the loss of Ervin cuts down on “team speed and leadership, but that will be made up by the other seniors.” Lesser is a vocal leader of the team and is apt to fire up the offensive line. Thomas, a quieter leader, leads by example with hard work and dedication. With the loss of Ervin, it is crucial that all of the seniors provide leadership to the talented but inexperienced underclassmen.

So far, the combination of underclassman talent and senior leadership has garnered fruitful results, as the Indians are 3-0 and have outscored their opponents 67-14. In the weeks to come, teams like North College Hill, Lockland, and CHCA will prove to be formidable opponents. However, Coach Dunn explains that “Summit is always the toughest, because they are our arch-rivals.” But if the underclassmen continue to perform at high levels, if Max Dietz and Wyatt Tiffany continue to eat up yardage on the ground behind a physical offensive line, if Jake Dietz continues to progress, and if the Indians’ defense is quick off the ball and hits hard, there is no reason why the Indians shouldn’t be able to put up a strong fight in these games and compete for a spot in the playoffs this season.

Header photo of Max Dietz by Ilana Habib.