Purdue University and Centerville High School graduate Jake Replogle continues to boost his NFL draft status. The 6-foot-5, 289-pounder — the last of four outstanding brothers who all starred for the Elks — should be a finalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award and Outland Trophy as college football’s best defensive lineman.
Most draft services have him rated among the nation’s top 10 eligible defensive linemen and rave about his “motor,” which anyone connected to Centerville football will second. Jake’s three older brothers all were defensive standouts at Big Ten rival Indiana.
Their father, Tom Replogle, was an outstanding fullback/linebacker at Beavercreek and was a decorated offensive lineman at VMI.
Jake’s former Centerville teammate, Northwestern senior defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo, is the Big Ten leaders in sacks (12).
• Ohio (8-4) will play Western Michigan (12-0) for the Mid-American Conference football championship on Friday at Detroit’s Ford Field (7 p.m., ESPN2). And like much of the season, OU will be without leading returning rusher A.J. Ouellette (Covington).
He was injured in a season-opening triple-OT loss to Texas State and is recovering from foot surgery.
“Obviously A.J.’s injury is hurtful to every single member of our team,” OU coach Frank Solich told the school website following Ouellette’s injury. “Anybody who plays the game knows how he loves the game and how hard he plays the game and how team-oriented he is. You just hate to see a guy get an injury that is going to be somewhat long lasting.”
Ouellette was listed as a junior running back, which means he should be eligible for a redshirt season and have two years of eligibility remaining.
• Team Michigan swept both the girls and boys races in the recent 30th Annual Mid-East Cross Country Championships at Indian Riffle Park in Kettering. The event featured the top girls and boys senior runners from Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and host Ohio.
Michigan (41) edged Illinois (46), Ohio (49) and Indiana (108) to captured the girls team title. Placing first on the 5K (3.1-mile) course was Emma Ehrhardt (Geneva Community, Ill.) in 18 minutes, 33 seconds. She edged Tarynn Cullings (Medina) and Erika Freyhof (Hamilton, Mich.), both of whom were timed in 18:34.
Elizabeth Ordeman (Oakwood) was 28th overall among the girls and Jessica Hartman (Lebanon) 29th. Both clocked 19:20.
Team Michigan (18) ran away with the men’s title, followed by Indiana (55), Ohio (85) and Illinois (100). Noah Jacobs (Corunna, Mich.) was the overall boys winner (15:40.50), edging teammate Riad Rababeh (Dearborn, Mich.), who finished in 15:41.00.
Placing second for Team Ohio and 15th overall was Mike Laughlin (Carroll) in 16:16. Ben Ewert (Beavercreek) was No. 5 for Team Ohio and 23rd overall in 16:22.
Michigan also captured the combined girls/boys team title.
Among the many volunteers who make the annual race a success are former Fairmont coach Neal Charske and former Wright State University men’s and women’s cross country coach Michael Baumer.
• Doug Brown of the Gem City Sports Network broadcast his 1,000th sports contest last week. Brown started the internet-based service just five years ago and covers live everything from high school football and basketball to area men’s and women’s college basketball and football, including JV games.
Brown recalled among the first games he covered was a Sinclair basketball contest, which also was the 1,000th. His first high school game was a Stebbins girls win over Belmont.
“Somebody, when we just got started, called us a fly-by-night station,” Brown said by email. “I say, I don’t think so.”
A daily broadcast schedule and listening instructions are at gemcitysports.com.