December 6, 2011

McCray helps Trotwood to title

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On Friday night in Massillon, the Trotwood-Madison football program got its first ever state championship with a 42-28 victory over Avon in the Division II finals. The Rams returned to scene of last year's tough loss where they fell to Maple Heights. This year, a new and improved team and a new and improved Mike McCray got it done. The 6-foot-4, 218-pound junior linebacker capped off a monster junior season with a state title and was nearly at a loss for words after the game.

"It feels great," said McCray. "Last year, we just blew it. All year we just talked about coming back and winning state and that's what we did. It's crazy, all year we've been talking about getting back here, and bringing the community back."

It wasn't always easy for Trotwood as the Rams saw a 35-14 third quarter lead dwindle down to 35-28 in just a few minutes. Last year, the Rams may have panicked in that situation, but not this time.

"I wasn't worried because I believe in my teammates," he said. "I believed in myself and I believed in my coaches that we would finish it off."

McCray had arguably as good of a season as any linebacker in the state of Ohio this past year and his improvement was a huge reason why the Rams were able to get over the hump.

"I've just been working hard," he said. "My teammates have been working hard to and they made me better. The young guys made me better, everybody made me better. I'm just playing harder and doing a better job of getting off blocks."

On the recruiting front, McCray had shut down his recruitment during the playoff run and said he hasn't spoken to any coaches in the last month.

"I really haven't talked to coaches, I've been focusing on the playoffs," he said. "After this I'll probably start paying more attention (to recruiting)."

Though not focused on recruiting, McCray did of course hear the news of Urban Meyer being brought in as head coach at Ohio State. McCray approved of the hire.

"That's a great hire and it adds more interest (to Ohio State)," he said.


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