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DB-U serves Trotwood well

By Marc F. Pendleton - Staff Writer

It figures that Trotwood-Madison would consistently stuff the next level with defensive backs.

That’s the position that head coach Maurice Douglass played in the NFL for 12 seasons, nine with the Bears, three with the Giants.

And he’s not the only former NFL defensive back on the coaching staff. Alvin Hall played for seven years with the Lions.

“It is DB-U,” Douglass said during a statewide media conference call earlier this week to tout the upcoming high school football championships.

“We like to let them know that this is what we do. We’re going to lock down whatever it takes on the perimeter.”

Trotwood (11-2) will need all that high-end moxie and more when the Rams face defending state champ Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary (14-0) in a Division III state title game at 7 p.m. today at Massillon Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

With an added division this season, that’ll be the first of seven state title games, including three each on Friday and Saturday. Midwest Athletic Conference rivals Coldwater (D-V) and Marion Local (D-VII) play in state title games on Saturday, also at Massillon.

Trotwood junior defensive backs Kei Beckham, Deshawn Gay and Harrison Johnson have excelled as the next great class at DB-U. Beckham had two interceptions in a 54-7 hammering of Clyde in last week’s state semifinal.

All three are on the college recruiting radar. They don’t have to look any further than 2013 Trotwood grads Cameron Burrows (Ohio State) and Reon Dawson (Michigan) for inspiration.

“DB-U. … Since I’ve been here that’s the one position that we’ve had a great number of kids come out of,” Douglass said. “Every year we normally put out a minimum of two-three defensive backs who are going to college somewhere. … That goes all the way back to 2002.”

The Rams will be playing in their fourth straight state title game. The first three were for D-II championships. Trotwood won the 2011 title to complete a 15-0 season.

Akron SVSM, a private school mostly known as the basketball program that LeBron James built, has won five football state titles.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to get back to our home away from home, Massillon,” said Douglass.

All the games can be seen live on Time Warner Cable Ch. 99.

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