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June 20, 2010
Rising Star: Joel Heath
Mount Healthy made big strides in 2009 after coming off of a dissatisfying season in 2008. The Owls finished 4-1 in the FAVC Scarlet with a 7-4 overall record. With high hopes for another great season Mount Healthy will be forced to step up offensively.
Mount Healthy surged with a strong defense last season and gave up the fewest yards in the FAVC. Allowing an average of 3.1 yards per rush, the defense was able to stop the run and anyone will tell you it is imperative to stop the run in high school football.
With athletes like Joel Heath, opposing offenses do not stand a chance trying to power through the Mount Healthy defense.
Heath, a DII First-Team All-State defensive end, found himself defensive leaders inside the FAVC conference. Heath was the only junior among a group of seniors and earned that spot with 6.5 sacks, two fumbles forced and two fumbles recovered.
As the first year head coach, Coach Crouch made his evaluations and placed Heath at defensive end and expects that we will see him making big plays there again this season.
There were many things about Heath that impressed Crouch last season.
"A willingness to learn," Crouch stated. "A lot changed in the defense- a lot more disciplined style of defense as far as reads."
There is the possibility that Heath will be serving dual roles this season and playing both sides of the ball. Depending on what's being run, we could see him at offensive tackle or even tight end.
With offers Kansas, Michigan State, Minnesota, N.C. State and several MAC schools in hand, Heath is drawing plenty of interest for college recruiters. Expect his list to offers grow as the year progresses.
The 6-foot-6, 240 pound stud not only turns it on when he's on the field, he also works hard in the classroom.
"He's developed into quite a leader on and off the field," Crouch added. "He finished the year 3.3 GPA. He's an outstanding young man; very polite."
Heath has some hefty expectations as he will be bringing back experience and leadership for Mount Healthy and he's already been improving himself this offseason.
Crouch expects that Heath will build off of last year's successes.
As for Crouch's expectations, he tells Joel, "To play like Joel. Don't get too caught up in the pressure of recruiting. They're here talking to you because you're Joel Heath. Do what you did and get better!"
FINAL TAKE: There's no doubt that Heath is one of the premier defensive playmakers in the entire Tri-state area entering his senior season. With his large frame and great athleticism he'll have a great chance to make an impact at the next level as well.