Marysville High School head football coach Brent Johnson (left) is congratulated by athletic director Joey Day after MHS’ playoff victory over Dublin Jerome. Johnson is the 2020 Ohio Capital Conference Cardinal Division coach of the year. (Journal-Tribune photo by Chad Williamson)
Marysville High School head football coach Brent Johnson remained in his modest character when discussing his award for the 2020 season.
Johnson says he is “humbled” by the fact that he is the Ohio Capital Conference’s Cardinal Division coach of the year.
‘This coach of the year honor is a by-product of all the hard work the team and coaching staff did this season,” said Johnson, who guided the Monarchs (6-2) to the OCC divisional championship this fall.
“The hard work we put in was shown through our success,” said the coach. “We had an ‘us’ mentality throughout the program.
“All the players and coaches have bought into that mentality.”
Johnson, who has coached MHS to a 21-18 record in the past four seasons, said his honor, along with all of the Monarch players who earned conference accolades, marks an exciting chapter for Marysville High School football.
“We had a lot of guys earn conference honors,” he said. “All of our players share the same vision and it’s great to be around a lot of good people.”
Johnson praised this year’s senior class for its leadership during a standout, albeit, brief season.
However, he was also quick to praise former players as well.
“The seniors who preceded this year’s team helped build what we accomplished,” said Johnson.
“We went into the summer knowing we had an opportunity to be a very good team,” he said. “We had a great group of guys coming back and everyone within the program was committed to being the best we could be.”
Still, there were worries during the summer months as to whether a season would be held.
COVID-19 concerns eventually led to an abbreviated six-game regular season schedule.
The Monarchs went through the Cardinal Division unbeaten and completed in two playoff games.
“Although we knew we had a strong team, it was also going to be different since we were going into a new division of the OCC,” said Johnson. “We knew we were going to play teams like Dublin Jerome, Olentangy and Olentangy Berlin.
“We knew there weren’t going to be any weeks during our schedule that we could take off.”
Although Johnson said the Monarchs will greatly miss seniors such as running back Ryan Kern, defensive lineman Zach McMinn, linebacker Luke Harper and offensive lineman Mike Cogossi, there is plenty of talent returning for 2021.
“We’ve got seven defensive starters and six offensive starters returning next year,” said Johnson.
Among the defensive starters who will be back next fall are defensive lineman Ben Bickerstaff, linebackers Gabe and Colton Powers and cornerbacks Cam Jones and Tanner Powers.
Offensive starters who will return include quarterback Ethan Musel, running backs Gabe Powers and Griffin Johnson, lineman Gavin Rohrs and Jones as a receiver.
Jeremiah McNeil also gave MHS solid play at fullback during brief stints.
“We do have to replace some offensive linemen,” said Johnson.
The Monarch coach said it will now be up to some 2020 jayvee players to help fill voids for next year.
“A lot of guys received a good deal of great reps on our JV team,” said Johnson. “We’re going to be counting on a lot of those guys to step into varsity lineup positions.”
Johnson mentioned several of this year’s JV players, including defensive ends Mason Reed, Christian McCartney and Trace Mahood, safety-receiver Drew Montgomery, cornerback Griffin Rigel and O-linemen Evan Collins and Braeden Gray, who will be heavily relied upon for next year’s varsity lineup.
“Our freshman and middle school teams also had solid seasons,” said Johnson. “The future of Marysville High School football looks very bright.”