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Webb gets close view of South#039;s talent

COLUMBUS - Rusty Webb is seeing a lot of things uncommon to most high school football coaches.

He's also seeing a lot of familiar things, too.

The Symmes Valley Vikings head football coach is serving as an assistant coach for the South team at the Grange Insurance Ohio High School Football Coaches Association annual North/South All-Star Classic at 7 p.m. Saturday at Crew Stadium.

As a South coach, Webb is seeing some of the most talented players the state offers and at every position. But he also sees some things that are universal to all players.

"It was very impressive. These are all highly-motivated kids and most of them are going to play at the next level," Webb said.

"Even though they possess all these great abilities, they still like to do all the things normal high school kids like to do."

Webb, 31-13 in four seasons as the Vikings head coach, has guided the Vikings to three Southern Ohio Conference championships.

His teams have qualified for the playoffs on three occasions and last season reached the regional finals for the first time in school history.

Webb said the experience as a South coach has allowed him to compare athletes he has seen during his 18 years as a high school head coach and assistant.

"The biggest thing I've noticed is that over the years you might notice one or two quick kids. Now, to run into an entire team of quick kids is amazing," Webb said.

One of the top players for the South is Cincinnati St. Xavier 6-foot-6, 230-pound quarterback Robby Schoenhoft who is headed for Ohio State.

"We've got the Schoenhoft kid from St. X who has an arm and he likes to show it off," Webb said. "But like I said, there's a lot of talent here."

Not only is Webb around some unfamiliar talent, he has the privilege of coaching one of his own players, defensive back Cory Burcham.

"It's a nice honor for Cory. He deserves it," Webb said.

Webb said coaching the South staff offers him more rewards than just viewing good players from an arm's reach.

"Just being around the other coaches, guys who have been in it a long time, to get to sit down and pick their brain, is just great," Webb said. "It's nice to meet coaches from other parts of the state. So far, it's been a great experience."