In the terms of enthusiasm, excitement, and pure fun, the first season of football for the Mount Carmel Fire can best be described as a big success.
Coleman Lucas, the head coach, said, “I’ve had a blast. I think we’ve all had a blast. The team has grown spiritually, mentally, and physically.”
The Fire’s head honcho had praise for some of the outstanding efforts turned in this season.
On the offensive side of the ball he noted the stellar performances of quarterback Ryan Jones, a Batavia graduate; fullback Doug Earley, an Amelia graduate; fullback Will Huddleston, a graduate of Georgetown; and the greatly improved play of Ryan Walriven, a New Richmond graduate. On the line, the play of center Mike McManis, a Batavia grad; right guard Tom Christie, a Milford grad; and left guard Derek Jetter, a Western Brown grad, was lauded.
Specialists also came in for well-earned praise - kickoff and punt returners Thomas Harder, a Glen Este grad; and Mike Dowd, a New Richmond grad; and placekicker Justin Fregassi, a Glen Este grad.
Earley (class of 1998) said of his experiences, "I'll be doing this again next year. The camaraderie of playing together coming from different jobs and getting together for football and friendship was great."
Said Christie (class of 2001), "I heard at church about this team getting started. It was a blast. It's a bunch of normal guys who love football."
"This has been awesome, getting to play football again. We've gotten better all year and made big improvement," said Mahaffey (class of 2002).
"This is football and I love it," said Dowd (class of 2007). "I can't wait to get started again next year."
"I had an absolutely phenomenal time. I never played football before. I played soccer in high school and I wanted to kick again. I had a fantastic time," Fregassi (class of 1990) concluded.
The roster of the Mount Carmel Fire included Amelia graduates Shane Clouse, Alex Coon, Kyle Dincler, Doug Earley, Brad Kelch, Adam Schaffer, Zak Thomas, Robbie Williams, and Kevin Woods; Batavia graduates Ryan Jones, Adam Layman, and Mike McManis; Bethel-Tate graduate Andy Hesketh; Clermont Northeastern graduate David Coghlan; Glen Este graduates Justin Fregassi and Thomas Harder; Milford graduate Tom Christie and James Harcourt; New Richmond graduates Mike Dowd, Jeff Mahaffey, and Ryan Walriven; Western Brown graduates Kevin Cox, Stuart Delaney, Bryce Graves, Derek Jetter, Jeremy Jetter, Billy Maxfield, Brandon Naylor, Richie Spitznagel, and Matt Stroop; Anderson graduate A. J. Pope; Colerain graduate Josh Hogan; Georgetown graduate Will Huddleston; Hamilton graduate Jason Naylor; Landmark Christian graduate Ken Retic; Turpin graduates Randy Lowe and John Reeves; Western Hills graduate Jay Broner; and Travis Mosher from Illinois; and Ed Marshall from Washington.
Coleman Lucas, the head coach, was assisted by Batavia graduate Chis Kent, and Aaron Adams and Charles Coon.
Kyle Dincler is the major owner of the Fire. When not injured, he was a member of the Fire's starting line-up.
Anderson High School permitted the Fire to play all of its home games on the Redskins' field.
Redskin Booster member Sally Bell, by herself, worked the concession area. Her ties with Clermont County and Amelia are very strong. Her father, Frank Lillich (Amelia class of 1931) for many years held the Amelia and Clermont County single game scoring record (45 points) in basketball and he is a member of the Amelia High School and Clermont County Sports halls of fame. Her husband, George "Gus" Bell, is also a member of the Amelia High School Sports Hall of Fame.