Toledo Central Catholic's Greg Dempsey Has Built a Juggernaut in Northwest Ohio

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jacobv77's picture

Ramon Miles is one big dude.  I had to block him a few times when my team played them this year.

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MountainsAwait's picture

How'd that work out for ya?

"Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity..." -John Muir

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jacobv77's picture

I held my own.  Played center for the Southview Cougars at 5'10 200 pounds so I am very undersized.

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MountainsAwait's picture

Nice.  I always wanted to play HS football but was too skinny.  6'0" 119 lbs, lol.  Thankfully I bulked up, but I'm still only 155.  Soccer and tennis favored me more. :)

"Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity..." -John Muir

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RedhawkCIA's picture

Zach Sandwisch?

Color me happy that Brady Hoke is no longer up north.

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MN Buckeye's picture

Isn't this the team that Joe Burrow pushed to the very end of the HS playoff game? That Athens could hang in there with such a solid program says a lot of positive things about both teams.

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Toledoan's picture

They breed football players at that school. QB Deshone Kizer is another stud from there. I believe Notre Dame signed him in 2014. Dane was the best all around player I've seen come out of there hands down though. 

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BeatTTUN's picture

Birm is Toledo CC in the same Division as Toledo St. Johns and Toledo St Francis? Those were the two big Catholic schools when I lived in Toledo.

I saw Ryan Day hang 62 on Michigan...His hair was perfect.

Go Buckeyes Beat Michigan

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The Butler's picture

Toledo St John's & St Francis are D2 while CC is D3

 

 

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Toledoan's picture

CC was division 2 though a few years back right?? I could have sworn they were D2 in '08 when I played at Springfield.

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The Butler's picture

Both St John's & St Francis played Central Catholic and lost this year.

 

 

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AJBor41's picture

"Coach Dempsey is a smart man," Dempsey, who rushed for 194 yards and two touchdowns in last week's historic 56-52 win over Athens, said.

Player/coach?! No kidding, he's smart...and a little cocky.

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NWOhioBuckeye's picture

Nothing against coach Dempsey, but having coached varsity baseball against Central Catholic while at a non-parochial school, I don't have the same opinions about success when you are using players from other schools.  I think it says even more about Athens and Mr. Burrow that they gave Central such a great game considering Central can pick their athletes.  This is just my #Take, and I fully understand if people disagree with me.

I think we can all agree on 1 thing though, and that's that High school football in the great state of Ohio is very healthy!

"Holy buckeye!"

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J.Mo's picture

I don't have the same opinions about success when you are using players from other schools

Blame the poor public school system in Toledo. Parents don't send their children to parochial schools just for athletics. 

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HayesIsMyMiddleName's picture

As a prowd,proude, proud TPS alum, I do think the perception of the public school system leads people to the private schools.  I believe you can be every bit as successful at one of the public schools but people are too scared to look into it.  Granted this is on more of a individual level, if you want to play sports and be part of a winning team then TPS may not work for you since so many others also choose the private schools.

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BuckeyeFromTheMud's picture

Everyone in the city of Toledo knows that all the Catholic schools (Central, St.Johns, St. Francis) lure all the stud players out of the inner city schools such as Scott, Rogers, Bowsher etc... to play. Otherwise, those schools would NOT be as powerful in contrast to how things were in the past when the inner city league schools dominated.(Which is a topic for another discussion) At least when it comes to Athens, they play with their own home grown players I would think... so much respect to them.

North West Ohio's finest...

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J.Mo's picture

The Catholic schools "lure" all types of kids from Toledo and the suburbs because the education and environment these school provide. I went to Central and was not a star athlete - pretty sure Springfield didn't care I didn't attend their school. Now if I was a star athlete, people would care.

I don't think there is a Catholic HS in Athens to give these kids the option to attend a different HS.

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mittenst8buck's picture

That is some what true...but a lot of their athletes don't come from the inner city. I played for coach Dempsey and while I was there Ryne Robison was on the team my sophomore and junior year, Sanzenbacher was a freshman my SR year and Eric Herman was there just after me. None of them were from inner city (quite the opposite actually)...not saying it does not happen but it isn't as often as you think. For those that they do poach...thank god for that because the rest of Toledo public schools are so messed up.

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Toledoan's picture

Yes and not just city schools. They pulled Mewhort and Marrow from Springfield local. 

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Big Papa's picture

Parochial schools should have their own conference. They can recruit the whole city. That is why St Eds, St X, St Igs, win the title every year. 

Here come the down votes.

"To be the man you've gotta beat the man and just when you think you have all the answers, I change the question." The Nature Boy, Ric Flair

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doghouse02's picture

Big PaPa no down vote here i know your right anyone my age (early 50s) should remember cincinnati moeller getting busted for recruiting players i switched from Toledo woodward to Springfield my senior year of HS my first week there i had a ST. Johns rep inform me if i enrolled in penta county vocational school i could play football for any school i wanted 

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doghouse02's picture

way back when i was in high school all 3 catholic schools "recruited" players from other toledo area schools if you enrolled in a vocational school i.e. penta county you could play for any school you wanted

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J.Mo's picture

Go back to Bancroft. The IrishKnight lives on Cherry Street!

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cemitchell20's picture

Lol I was hoping I'd see this somewhere in the comments. Go Knights

Go Bucks

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J.Mo's picture

Great entry Birm. Proud alumni of Central Catholic. The school had a lot to do with shaping my success in college and having a successful career afterward graduating. 

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TLB's picture

I am totally with NWOhioBuckeye
it's an uneven playing field.

It you want to look at someone who plays with what they are given, check out the MAC. They won 3 state titles this year alone.

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bucks22's picture

Best small town football conference in the country.  Love watching Coldwater and have turned into a bit of a Coldwater Homer.  I have been up there for their community picnic and loved every second of it.

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ODEEZ330's picture

Its easy when you recruit and play 19 yr olds . dirty program imo.

O'Deez330
stark county football

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Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Do you believe that the big schools in Stark County or anywhere else don't do the same things?

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ODEEZ330's picture

Some certainly do. Cough massilon cough cough. And I feel the same way about them . My 2 schools McKinley and canton central catholic are majority home grown talent though. Central got crushed by cold water in Columbus last weekend :/

O'Deez330
stark county football

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MichaelJ721984's picture

McKs QB is from Massillon lol

McK is the only school to lose a season for recruiting. 

With that said, kids transfer into and out of schools all the time. Shit happens. There were actually people who believed when Kyle Kempt came to Massillon from Oregon that the Massillon folk had Diebold transfer his father to Diebold in Stark just so we could have a QB. 

Michigan sucks.

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Jeremy Birmingham's picture

As a proud TPS alum, I don't "get" the disdain for the private schools in Toledo, really. I played baseball for Start High School during the most dominant run of single-sport athletics this city has ever seen, and we did it by not complaining about Central, St. John's, St. Francis, etc. We did it by beating them on the field. Sure, there's an advantage when you're not bound by district lines, but is that really a big deal anymore? High school is about getting your kids as prepared as possible for college and for the real world, so if the parochial schools are doing it better - whether academically or athletically - why would kids not go there?

Greg Dempsey coached me during my JV year of baseball at Start and I can say unequivocally that he deserves every ounce of credit he has earned for Central's success. He's a great coach and a great man, who really understands the values he's trying to teach his kids.

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doghouse02's picture

i moved from Toledo for about 10 years and just moved back last year i swear Toledo central has a bigger campus than Toledo U. lol 

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mittenst8buck's picture

Great point...many Toledo Public Schools accelerate in sports too...let's not forget that Libbey High School and Scott High School have had big runs in basketball through the state of Ohio. Also Rogers High School (though never good because their coaches suck) has put out some stellar athletes like Fred Davis who went to USC and Drushaun Humphrey who was heavily recruited and committed to Tressel but unfortunately passed away from a heart defect while playing basketball. One of the classiest moves I saw from Tressel was presenting his family with a 2002 championship ring.

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tjk_419's picture

I wouldn't go so far to say Rogers has had bad coaching. When I played for them from 2005-2007 we went to the playoffs and beat st johns. Rogers has been the only TPS school ever to make it to the playoffs under the current system and they have made it 3 times.

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sheidster's picture

As a Holland Springfield alum we never really got cherry picked from st.johns which is right down the road too badly. We did loose a few guys for b ball and baseball but never for football and at the time definitely not wrestling. We actually had kids transfer to wrestle with us. we never held any grudges,How can you be mad at a highschool kid who wanted to improve his religious and academic education???

There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you --Woody Hayes

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sheidster's picture

Its just nice to see the Toledo area become more relevant in recruiting. The athletes have always been here, I feel Toledo was just always put on a back burner for cleveland, Cinci and Cbus

There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you --Woody Hayes

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runu5163's picture

Zach Sandwisch now has 3 offers. 2 from MAC schools and one from a Big 12 school.

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Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Yes, added West Virginia on Thursday night after the game.

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Olemissbuckeye's picture

I married a girl who is part of a long line of Irish. What Dempsey has done is particularly impressive in light of its shrinking enrollment. I hope they continue to attract talent in and out of the classrooms.

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tjk_419's picture

After all these years I feel like I can finally come out and say it. Dane from TCC burned me for 80 yards in high school and now it's clear that he had superior coaching that gave him the ability to run straight by me.

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Goose's picture

LOL'd at work.  Love it!

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zjhousley's picture

Easy to build powerhouses when you can recruit... just ask Urban!!!

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Calvinist Buck's picture

First of all, Jeremy, I appreciate your hard work and I enjoyed the article on Central's program and their coach.

With all due respect, I do take issue with some of the particulars in the comments.  As a TPS high school teacher for 29 years and a former baseball coach I am certainly qualified to weigh in on the discussion of "recruiting" and the disparity between the parochial schools and the urban schools.

First, Coach Dempsey plays within the rules and should be commended for the success he has achieved.  Also, I suppose it may be tougher recruiting to the inner city (where CC is located) than to the suburbs (e.g., St. John's).

Secondly, students can get a fine education at TPS schools.  However, with "white flight" and the competition from other schools, fewer quality students attend TPS high schools.  Maintaining a quality football program requires numbers (including those who are academically eligible) and TPS high schools are at a huge disadvantage.  So much so that the Catholic schools don't even want to be in the same league with TPS.  For example, Bowsher hasn't beat St. John's or St. Francis in football for over 35 years.

Third, Jeremy's argument about Start HS baseball is not a good example.  Again, while the coach did a great job, played within the rules, and won consistently, he also recruited players.  He exploited loopholes to actually get players from other schools.  For example, at one time, Scott's best baseball player was able to attend Start by taking a class that Scott didn't offer.  That player didn't have to move.  He lived in the Scott district and played at Start.  Start's coach was an excellent baseball teacher and worked harder than most; but don't kid yourself, he recruited.

Sports like basketball, and to some extent baseball, require less players so TPS high schools can occasionally field winning teams, but the baseball dynasty that Start had will not be repeated unless someone recruits very well.  Athletics in TPS schools have never been at a lower point than now.  The playing field in football is not close to being level.  Positively no one with any credibility disputes this.

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J.Mo's picture

Again, while the coach did a great job, played within the rules, and won consistently, he also recruited players.  He exploited loopholes to actually get players from other schools. 

It would be hard data to get but I wonder how much of Central's football team is made up of kids who attended a parochial school between K-8. Speaking on my behalf, I attended a parochial school from K-8 and then went to Central.  And it's been quite some time since I graduated but most of my classmates as I remember had a similar background. Off the top of my head, I can think of 3 kids I graduated with who came from a public school prior to entering Central and they weren't athletes. 

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Toilrt Paper's picture

One of the better recruiters in Ohio.

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