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Combine attracts players from variety of schools

Ironton Fighting Tigers' junior lineman Adam Webb runs hard for his 40-yard dash time during the second annual Tri-State Rehab and Fitness Center high school football combine on Saturday. (The Ironton Tribune / Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos.com)


Tribune Sports Editor


Saturday just happened to be one of the ACT testing days.

There was another test going on at Ironton High School.

The second annual Tri-State Rehab and Fitness high school football combine was held as local players were tested in the 40-yard dash, bench press, vertical jump, broad jump, flexibility test, 3-cone drill and the L-drill.

A total of 43 players from 13 area schools participated. Director Dave Coburn was pleased with the results.

“We had 43 last year and 43 registered again this year. Considering we were going up against the ACT which takes a lot of your juniors and seniors, it was a good turnout,” said Coburn.

Former Ironton All-Ohio running back and defensive back Marcus Williams was the guest speaker.

Williams was a walk-on at Ohio State who earned a scholarship and was one of the top special teams players for the Buckeyes during his career.

Williams was impressed with the combine.

“They guys who I played with would have killed to have hand a chance to do this,” said Williams. “These kids are fortunate to have this.”

Although the odds of high school players earning a scholarship in any sport — let alone football — are limited, Williams said players should not be afraid to pursue their dreams of playing at the next level.

“There are only 2,5000 scholarships given each year (in Division I), but you still need to have lofty goals. You have to balance out being realistic. Don’t set yourself up for disappointment,” said Williams.

“You need to be serious and work hard, but still work on your academics. It was academics that got me in the door and then I just worked hard and took it from there. You have to remember that until you enter the NFL door, you’re still a student/athlete.”

Williams said players need to set their goals high and not get discouraged. In fact, he said he made a mistake when it came to setting goals.

“The biggest mistakes I set at Ohio State was I set the bar too low. I made the team and was happy to be on special teams. I was satisfied with that. It all depends on how hard you work and how dedicated you are,” said Williams.

The 13 area schools represented were Ironton, Coal Grove, Symmes Valley, Chesapeake, Minford, Lucasville Valley, Portsmouth, Wheelersburg, Raceland, Ky., Russell, Ky., Greenup County, Ky., Wayne, W.Va., and Tolsia, W.Va.

Each player’s individual results will be recorded and distributed to colleges of their choice.

The combine is a simulation to those conducted by the NFL for rookies to test their performance levels prior to the draft. All drills are to test speed, strength, agility and flexibility.

In the bench press, players who are freshmen and sophomores bench 135 pounds as many times as possible while juniors and seniors are tested with 155 pounds.

Awards were given to the top two points total by participants in each grade.

Freshmen: 1, Blake Rose, Tolsia; 2, Nick Conley, Russell;

Sophomore: 1, Connor Messer, Raceland; 2, Joe Bowling, Ironton;

Junior: 1, Jacob Albrecht, Portsmouth; 2, Blake Taylor, Ironton;

Senior: 1, Drew Wells (overall winner), Ironton; 2, Alec Herrell, Symmes Valley.

“This helped me see where I need to improve,” said Wells. “I wasn’t satisfied. I want to go to college. I’m excited to be a wide receiver. I worked my tail off and I can’t wait for the season to begin.”

The camp is sponsored by Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital, Bob Clyse Auto Mall, River Cities Bone and Joint Center with Dr. Joseph Leith, Trinidad Orthopedics and Sports Medicine with Dr. Gerry Trinidad, Liebert Corporation and Ohio University Southern.


Tri-State Rehab & Fitness High School Football Combine


Name Vertical BrJmp L-Drill 3-Cone 4-Cone 40-yard Bench

Brock Midkiff-Sands 12 60 9.4 5.48 15.85 6.6 27x

Chase Hankins 14 70 9.6 5.87 15.78 6.89 10x

Blake Rose 26 98 7.9 4.69 13.34 5.5 NA

Cain Madden 17 84 8.8 5.18 15.13 6.32 25x

Nick Conley 23 82 7.9 4.62 13.34 5.42 2x


Name Vertical BrJmp L-Drill 3-Cone 4-Cone 40-yard Bench

Tanner Price 23 90 7.2 4.62 12.62 5.0 12x

Joe Bowling 27 100 7.6 4.68 12.63 5.39 20x

Matt Lawson 19 98 7.7 4.46 12.91 5.4 19x

Donovan Salmons 22 90 8.3 4.86 13.87 5.5 11x

Jesse Rigsby 25 100 7.6 4.3 13.6 5.5 22x

Tyler Senters 21 96 8.5 4.71 13.75 5.3 18x

Mitchell Warner 24 98 7.9 4.58 12.96 5.3 23x

Austin Pleasants 17 86 8.9 4.92 15.6 6.6 18x

Tristen Cox 26 98 7.7 4.37 13.28 5.1 16x

Conner Messer 27 102 6.08 3.86 12.59 5.2 5x

(Bench press for freshmen and sophomores is number of reps at 135 pounds)


Name Vertical BrJmp L-Drill 3-Cone 4-Cone 40-yard Bench

Jacob Albrecht 2 100 7.5 4.12 12.4 5.0 14x

Curtis Followay 24 102 8.0 4.69 13.88 5.25 22x

Blake Taylor 24 106 7.4 4.39 13.19 5.0 10x

Adam Webb 19 78 9.2 5.58 15.47 6.6 25x

Mark McMillian 16 88 8.9 5.08 14.91 5.85 22x


Name Vertical BrJmp L-Drill 3-Cone 4-Cone 40-yard Bench

Alec Herrell 28 100 7.1 4.33 12.34 4.89 19x

Drew Wells 28 112 7.5 4.18 12.41 4.90 17x

Jalen Schweickart 22 86 7.8 4.78 13.87 5.4 15x

Brandon Boyles 20 98 8.1 4.92 14.34 5.8 20x

Austin Rowe 24 98 8.2 4.55 13.47 5.3 25x

Aaron Stephens 26 104 7.8 4.27 12.5 5.15 19x

Jacob Friend 21 92 8.0 4.39 13.94 5.5 14x

Dwight Blankenship 26 104 7.8 4.77 13.75 5.1 29x

Matt Rawlins 24 98 7.5 4.49 13.0 5.0 13x

(Bench press for juniors and seniors is number of reps at 155 pounds)