It’s not enough to label Miamisburg football as back. Gone and buried in the standings for much too long, the rebirth of the Vikings’ program is worth celebrating.
That’s exactly what the Miamisburg High School players did on Friday night after a 23-14 comeback defeat of host Troy.
If Miamisburg and new coach Steve Channell were the area’s feel-good story last season, their encore is better. A third straight win pushes the Vikings to 4-1 with its Greater Western Ohio Conference South Division schedule remaining.
The prehistoric Miamisburg Mound would have to turn into a giant sink hole and swallow the promising program for the Vikings not to advance to the postseason.
Defensive back Robert Young’s strip and fumble recovery snuffed the Trojans’ possible game-winning drive in the closing minutes. Like many of his senior teammates, Young has endured through the challenged times. “It’s really a blessing how this has turned out,” he gushed.
Both Channell and Troy coach Scot Brewer are part of an infusion of second-year GWOC head football coaches.
Channell was the only one of the bunch to post a winning season in his conference debut, going 7-3 in 2012 but finishing in the dreaded ninth Division I, Region 4 playoff position. Only the top eight advanced to the postseason.
Brewer, following longtime Trojans coach Steve Nolan, went 4-6. Eric Gillespie (Springfield), Aaron Shaffer (Greenville) and Chris Newman (West Carrollton) also are all in their second struggling seasons.
Nolan retired from teaching in the Troy school district and soon after vowed to reboot Troy Christian’s football program as its head coach.
The Trojans (2-3) will make or break their season at GWOC North heavyweight Trotwood-Madison (Week 8) and against visiting ultra rival Piqua (Week 10).
“We’re in year 1.5 of this changeover and right now we’ve got to learn how to win,” said Brewer, whose defense surrendered 207 yards rushing to Chris Yerkins.
Miamisburg has its own GWOC South power to deal with in defending champ Springboro (Week 8). There was no such concern from 2004-11, when the Vikings couldn’t field a winning team.
Miamisburg had more wins in Channell’s first season (seven) than the four previous Vikings teams combined (six).
That kind of immediate payoff and promise has rekindled a football fervor that used to be the norm on fall nights in the southern Montgomery County community.
As of now, the Vikings are one gear ahead of the Trojans.
“We’ve gone through that growing process of last year,” Channell said. “We know how to win now.”