PIQUA — It was a special signing day at Piqua High School Wednesday.
Five football players signed their letters of intent to play at the next level.
Anson Cox, Elijah Frazier, Sam Schmiesing, Jackson Trombley and Jacob Voskuhl made their college choices official.
And they were a big part of a successful three-year run for the Piqua football program that included back-to-back undefeated seasons, three trips to the D-II playoffs, one appearance in the regional finals and two MVL titles.
“These guys are proven winners,” Piqua football coach Bill Nees said. “We won two league titles and went to the playoffs three times. It was kind of nice to share this moment with each other and be in a relaxed environment — because usually when we are meeting it is a pretty intense situation.”
Cox, a 6-foot-5, 271 pound offensive tackle — who also played on the defensive line for Piqua — said choosing University of Findlay was an easy choice.
“I just really liked everything about it and after a couple visits, became pretty familiar with everything,” Cox said. “Another thing is my education. I am going to major in business and there are three Fortune 500 companies located near campus.”
Cox, the son of Tony Cox and Erica Campbell, favored different sport early in his athletic career.
“Actually, I started out playing basketball,” Cox said. “I started playing football in junior high. I just love playing offensive tackle.”
Cox was a tackle on an offense that rushed for 2,052 yards and 39 touchdowns and passed for 1,566 yards and 18 touchdowns.
On defense he had 30 tackles, 11 tackle for loss and three sacks this season.
Cox knows there is a lot of hard work ahead.
“I know the head coach and offensive line coach, along with the strength and conditioning coach will really help me,” Cox said. “I am going to go in and outwork everybody. If I have to redshirt for a year, that is fine. But, if the opportunity present itself for me to play as a freshman, I will take it.”
Frazier, the son of Derek Frazier and Sarah Godfrey, said Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Indiana was definitely the place for him.
He is a 6-2, 173-pound defensive back — who also played wide receiver at Piqua.
On defense, he had 32 tackles, a forced fumble and two interceptions, including a 100-yard interception return for a touchdown.
On offense, he caught seven passes for 121 yards.
“I think it is about the love they showed me,” Frazier said. “I think that is the most important thing. I really liked the coaches. They are texting me all the time checking on me.”
He looks forward to playing defense in college.
“I prefer playing on defense,” he said. “I think my statistics show that. I am more elusive on defense. I loved playing defensive back. We had some great moments here at Piqua, but I think I can do a lot of good things at the next level.”
Schmiesing, the son of Chris and Paula Schmiesing, has a pretty good idea what to expect at the University of Dayton.
His brother Ben just finished a standout career as a linebacker for the Flyers.
“I think it gave me kind of an inside look at the program and what it is about,” the 6-2, 223-pound linebacker said. “The thing I picked up on is the brotherhood they have and how they are all close and support each other.”
Schmiesing was also a running back for the Indians, but will play on defense in college.
On defense, Schmiesing had 137 tackles, 22 tackles for loss and six sacks. He also forced two fumbles.
On offense, he had 80 carries for 499 yards and 10 touchdowns this season.
“I think there is an opportunity for me,” Schmiesing said about playing right away. “Obviously, it will take a lot of hard work. They only have one (starting) linebacker coming back. I am going to be a middle linebacker.”
He feels his best football is in front of him.
“When I watch films, I still see things I can do a lot better,” he said.
Trombley, the son of Josh and Holly Trombley, will continue his kicking career at Thomas More University in Crestview Hills, Kentucky.
Trombley is one of the most prolific kickers in Piqua history.
He made 192 of 201 PATs in his four years and six of 11 field goals. The last two seasons, almost all of his kickoffs resulted in touchbacks.
He also improved his punting average from 34.8 as a junior to 39.5 as a senior.
“Actually, I was a wide receiver in seventh grade and never got to play much,” Trombley said. “My brother is the one who got me into kicking. I had never done it before. I told the coaches I wanted to try kicking and I have been doing it ever since. This is a dream for me to get this opportunity.”
Trombley hopes to be a kicker and punter for Thomas More.
“They have a couple guys there, but they want me to start right away,” he said. “Hopefully, I can go on to do some big things.”
The some of Todd and Stacey Voskuhl is a 6-foot-2, 249 pound offensive lineman.
He was part of an offensive line that paved the way for an offense that rushed for 2,052 yards and 39 touchdowns and passed for 1,566 yards and 18 touchdowns.
He played guard at Piqua, but that could change at Walsh University in North Canton, Ohio.
“I am right at the height where I could either be a guard or tackle,” Voskuhl said. “So, I could go either way. I think once I start working with a strength and conditioning coach I will be a lot stronger. I have always love playing on the offensive line. I am going to go in there and work hard.”
Voskuhl said the choice of Walsh was an easy one.
“I loved the campus and the coaching staff,” he said. “And it is a really safe environment. I think my best football is in front of me. We had some big wins at Piqua, but I feel like I can still get a lot bigger and stronger.”
Nees look forward to seeing what five do at the next level.
“This is there chance to go out and make their mark,” Nees said. “It will be fun to watch and see what they can accomplish.”
After leaving their mark on the Piqua program.
Sports Editor Rob Kiser can be reached at [email protected]