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Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

Stokes to take over Minster football

By Robb Hemmelgarn
MINSTER - As Geron Stokes stood beneath a wall of state championship team pictures in the Minster High School office late yesterday afternoon, he pointed toward the photo of the 1989 Division V state championship football team.
"We need a few more of those," smiled the soon-to-be appointed head football coach of the Minster Wildcats.
Football fans in town hope Stokes holds the key to that notion when he officially takes over following school board approval later this month.
"I am really looking forward to getting things started here immediately," explained Stokes, who has been the head coach at Urbana High School for the past four seasons. "I had the opportunity to drive around town with my wife this week, and we can tell this is a very special place. I have already received 10 or 15 emails from people in town offering to help me out with the moving process in any way they can. I am looking forward to being a part of a place that takes a lot of pride in everything they do."
Stokes will take the reigns from head coach Nate Moore, who resigned a few weeks ago when he was named as the new head football coach at Cincinnati LaSalle. In his three seasons on Minster's sidelines, Moore led the Orange and Black to three consecutive postseason appearances and an overall record of 25-13.
"I have a ton of respect for what coach Moore and his staff accomplished here over the past three seasons, and I am looking forward to keeping that momentum heading in the right direction," said Stokes. "Coach Moore spent a lot of time building character in his team and that is definitely something I plan to continue to instill, while also helping to build tight bonds in the community."
Stokes was a four-year starting quarterback for the Urbana Hillclimbers before staying in town and quarterbacking Urbana University for two seasons. He transferred to Wittenberg University for his final two college seasons before returning to the Urbana High School coaching staff in 2006. He was an assistant coach for three seasons before assuming the head coaching duties at the age of 24 in 2009. In four years, he guided the Hillclimbers to an overall record of 29-13 while winning or sharing three straight Central Buckeye Conference Mad River Division titles.
Urbana advanced to the Division III postseason each of the past two seasons before finishing the season 8-3 and 9-2.
"Offensively, I want to be physical with a strong downhill running game," explained Stokes. "On defense, I want to develop tough players who can fly to the football. In the next few weeks, I will sit down with the staff and team and figure out where our personnel will be best utilized. I want to win football games by playing tough, smart football."
Although Stokes doesn't have game experience against the teams from around the Midwest Athletic Conference, he is very familiar with what his weekly competition will have to offer this fall.
"I have always followed and studied strong programs, and the MAC is loaded with those types of programs," he said. "I have a lot of respect for the great teams in this league and will do the best I can to continue developing Minster into that type of program. The only way to get better is by playing outstanding competition and we certainly have the chance to do just that."
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