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Winton Woods football team working like 'underdogs' as summer approaches

Reigning Ohio Division II state champions
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Posted at 10:04 PM, May 05, 2022

FOREST PARK, Ohio — Five months after winning the Division II state football championship, Winton Woods hasn't changed its mindset as it prepares for this summer.

"We're just working like underdogs still — that's a fact," Winton Woods coach Chad Murphy said.

Winton Woods hosted dozens of college football coaches late Thursday afternoon as part of the County Fair College Combine, which featured eight schools around Greater Cincinnati.

College coaches from programs at all levels were able to watch and evaluate players in the rising freshman through senior classes in various agility stations and football-related drills without helmets or shoulder pads.

Wyoming started the day at 6 a.m., and the combine schedule also included Mount Healthy, Middletown, Withrow, Walnut Hills, La Salle and Princeton.

Winton Woods, which defeated Akron Archbishop Hoban 21-10 in the Division II state final Dec. 2 in Canton, returns plenty of talent and several players with scholarship offers or verbal commitments for this upcoming season. Winton Woods is poised to begin new journey after a memorable state championship occurred after a 1-2 start in 2021.

There are several talented players including Winton Woods 2023 cornerback Cameron Calhoun, who verbally committed to West Virginia March 30.

Winton Woods defensive back Jermaine Mathews Jr. is rated Ohio's ninth-best player in the 2023 class by 247 Sports with several significant scholarship offers.

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Winton Woods returns several talented players including in the backfield for this upcoming season.

Multiple players picked up scholarship offers Thursday including 2024 wide receiver/athlete Tra'mar Harris (Purdue and Georgia Tech) along with 2025 defensive back Donmiel Rogers (Georgia Tech).

Winton Woods 2023 linebacker Qierstin Williams earned a scholarship offer from Tiffin University. 2023 defensive backs Lorenzo Hudson and Ade Giwa Jr. earned scholarship offers from the University of Charleston.

Multiple other players have previously earned scholarship offers or will do so in the near future for Winton Woods.

Murphy understands the spotlight Winton Woods has received but said the team doesn't discuss its talent on the field. He prefers the focus to be on improvement as summer draws near.

Winton Woods plays host to Trotwood-Madison in the season opener Aug. 19.

Murphy said Thursday's combine was beneficial to the players as the college camp circuit starts in June.

"It's just an absolutely great opportunity with summer camps coming up and the college camps — it's great for our kids to get a little bit of experience on their home turf in front of these guys," said Murphy. "I think it's a difference-maker."

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