Wayne County teams will be playing scrimmage games this weekend, and will kick off regular season play on Friday, Aug. 18. 1A Cambridge City Lincoln and 4A Richmond are both coming off winless seasons. It is probable that both programs will continue to struggle as they work to rebuild. 3A Centerville, 1A Hagerstown, and 2A Northeastern are all expecting winning seasons and all three expect to compete for the Tri-Eastern Conference title, with the Bulldogs holding the distinction of preseason favorite.  

Cambridge City Lincoln

Head Coach Danny Capps

Low roster numbers will be a major concern for the Eagle program, which lost every game last season and is currently on a 20-game losing streak. The Eagle defense gave up over 55 points per outing a season ago and the offense could not generate enough attack to offset those numbers. Also challenging coach Capps, four-year starter and team leader Gavin Trent graduated and took his considerable talent to join the Trine University program. The program did not report statistical information last season, but four players graduated from their 20-player roster. The other 16 return with varsity playing experience, but they will be forced to play on both sides of the ball on nearly every down. Replacing Trent in the quarterback slot will be difficult. Junior Evan Stuckey is the most likely replacement. The Eagles will open play Aug. 18 at home against co-defending Tri-Eastern champion Centerville.

Regular season schedule:

  • Aug. 18 Hosts Centerville
  • Aug. 25 Hosts Union County
  • Sept. 1 at Tri High
  • Sept. 8 Hosts Northeastern
  • Sept. 15 at Hagerstown
  • Sept. 22 Hosts Knightstown
  • Sept. 29 at Union City
  • Oct. 6 at Winchester
  • Oct. 13 Hosts Wes-Del


Head Coach Ryan Cole

The Centerville Bulldogs have recorded three consecutive winning seasons. Second year head coach Ryan Cole has the players in place to extend the Bulldog season winning streak to four. The Bulldogs will start the season with a roster of 60 players and they return nearly every statistical leader from a season ago. Jake Tinkle, who passed for over 1,800 yards, returns; receiving leaders Nate Dickenson and Evan Pritchard, and rushing and scoring leader Aiden Hoelscher also returns, along with five other players who scored at least four touchdowns last year. Defensively, the Bulldogs also return substantial proven talent. Tackle leaders Ethan Vecera (56) and Grady Blake (54) return as well as four other players who were credited with 20 or more tackles last year.  If the Bulldogs have a weakness, it is not apparent. The Bulldogs will play their first two games on the road. They will open August 18 at Lincoln and travel to Hagerstown on Aug. 25.

Regular season schedule:

  • Aug. 18 at Cambridge City Lincoln
  • Aug. 25 at Hagerstown
  • Sept. 1 Hosts Eastern Hancock
  • Sept. 8 at Winchester
  • Sept. 15 Hosts Tri High
  • Sept. 22 Hosts Northeastern
  • Sept. 29 at Union County
  • Oct. 6 Hosts Union City
  • Oct. 13 Hosts Knightstown


Head Coach Scott Snodgrass

Veteran head coach Scott Snodgrass has reason for optimism. Coming off a seven-game win season and a sectional runner-up finish last season, the Tigers return 32 of last year’s 35 roster players. Leading rusher Mason Romack and key lineman Mason Bowlin made significant contributions before graduating, but the balance of the roster returns bigger, stronger and more experienced. Veteran, mobile quarterback Kayne Ervin returns to guide the Tiger offense. A threat to run, Ervin will have several proven receivers led by Lowell Berger. All-State lineman Logan Parrish also returns to anchor the line, and he will be surrounded by teammates who possess both size and quickness. Four-year starter Peyton Meyer, who led the team in tackles last season, returns to his linebacker spot and will be a disruptive defensive force. The Tigers will open the season Aug. 18 at home hosting the Knightstown Panthers. The Tigers will remain at home the following week for a game against Centerville on Aug. 25. That clash could have huge implications in the conference title race.  

Regular season schedule:

  • Aug. 18 Hosts Knightstown
  • Aug. 25 Hosts Centerville
  • Sept. 1 at Union City
  • Sept. 8 at Union County
  • Sept. 15 Hosts Cambridge City Lincoln
  • Sept. 22 at Shenandoah
  • Sept. 29 at Winchester
  • Oct. 6 Hosts Tri High
  • Oct. 13 at Northeastern


Head Coach Wes Oler

2022 was a storybook season for the Northeastern Knights. The Knights compiled a record of 8-2, were co-champions of the Tri-Eastern Conference and came within inches on the final play of defeating perennial power Heritage Christian in the sectional. Their core players were among the best to don a Knight uniform since the program began. The Knights graduated a substantial amount of talent. Ten seniors picked up their diplomas, including quarterback Carson Terrell (over 4,000 career passing yards), leading receiver Noah Ammerman, leading tacklers Calvin Berhalter and Ethan Neeley, and leading rusher Dylan Isaacs. The Knights return good roster numbers and have a program in place that will allow coach Oler to retool and compete. The only way to replace the talent lost is for the Knights to have players who have been waiting in the wings for their time to shine. The Knights, who will open their season at Union County on Aug. 18, have them.  

Regular season schedule:

  • Aug. 18 at Union County
  • Aug. 25 Hosts Tri High
  • Sept. 1 Hosts Winchester
  • Sept. 8 at Cambridge City Lincoln
  • Sept. 15 Hosts Union City
  • Sept. 22 at Centerville
  • Sept. 29 Hosts Shenandoah
  • Oct. 6 at Knightstown
  • Oct. 13 Hosts Hagerstown


Head Coach Randall Kerns

The Richmond Red Devil football team faces a difficult situation again this season. After a 0-10 season a year ago, the Red Devils’ prospects may not be any better this season as Coach Kerns continues his rebuilding process. The Red Devils compete as a 4A school. Four of their scheduled opponents are either 5A or 6A schools. Competing with them will be a tall order. The four 4A opponents on their schedule averaged nearly eight wins last year, with one advancing to the semi-state. Northmont, Ohio, has been replaced on the RHS schedule by Eaton, Ohio.

The Red Devils were shut out four times last season and had an average losing margin of 45 points per game. The Richmond program did not report individual statistics last season, but leading rusher Lucas Hall and leading receiver Michael Luangsingotha both graduated. Miizell Mendiola, who led the team in tackles last year, as well as Skylar Mullins, who saw time as quarterback, both return. The Red Devils will open their season at home against longtime rival Connersville on Aug. 18. 

Regular season schedule:

  • Aug. 18 Hosts Connersville
  • Aug. 25 at Eaton (Ohio)
  • Sept. 1 at Anderson
  • Sept. 8 Hosts Lafayette Jefferson
  • Sept. 15 Hosts Indianapolis Tech
  • Sept. 22 at Muncie Central
  • Sept. 29 at Logansport
  • Oct. 6 Hosts Kokomo
  • Oct. 13 Host Harrison (West Lafayette)
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A version of this article appeared in the August 9 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Dan Harney is a sports reporter at the Western Wayne News.