By Josh Brown
MIAMI COUNTY — The Troy Daily News sports department spent all last week naming its top athletes, coaches and teams from the 2017-18 sports season.
Does that mean it’s too soon to start talking about the upcoming year?
No. There is no such thing as “too soon.”
But with the entire 2018-19 season still ahead of us, we figured we’d make it a little easier and break it up by season, so over the next two days we will be listing a few of the athletes and teams to watch out for during the upcoming fall season — which is only a week or so from starting. And so today, in no particular order, we will begin with a collection of 10 fall sports athletes that could potentially be in the discussion for the TDN’s athletes of the year come next summer. Will one of these names make their way to the top of the list? Only time will tell.
Jaydon Culp-Bishop (Troy football, senior)
After serving primarily as a back-up early in his career and looking to share time in the backfield going into his junior season, Culp-Bishop exploded onto the scene in 2017, finishing the season with 1,549 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns. Against state-ranked Sidney, he broke off a 99-yard touchdown run, tying the school record for the longest in history.
Following the season, Culp-Bishop earned All-Greater Western Ohio Conference American League North Division, All-Southwest District and All-Ohio honors.
Vincent Villella (Miami East football, senior)
Villella was a two-way terror at running back and linebacker for the Vikings last season. At running back, he led the team with 218 carries for 1,306 yards and 21 touchdowns. He also had six receptions for 54 yards and a score. On defense, he led the Vikings with 123 total tackles, four tackles for loss, one quarterback sack, an interception and four passes defended.
He helped lead Miami East to a 9-1 record during the regular season and a spot in the Division V regional playoffs. Following the season, Villella earned All-Cross County Conference, All-Southwest District and All-Ohio honors, being named the CCC Back of the Year.
Katie Taylor (Tippecanoe girls cross country, senior)
Fresh off of placing in the 3,200 at the Division II state track and field meet in the spring, Tippecanoe’s Katie Taylor will look to continue her impressive cross country career this fall to start her senior year. After a fifth-place finish at last year’s regional to qualify for state for the third straight year, Taylor went on to finish 16th at the D-II state cross country meet, earning All-Ohio honors for the second year in a row and running a time of 18:58.3 and helping lead the Red Devil girls to a third-place finish in the team standings in the process.
Bryce Conley (Tippecanoe boys cross country, junior)
Bryce Conley has struggled with injuries his first two seasons with Tippecanoe, and we still have yet to see what the junior can do when he is 100 percent. That said, Conley qualified for the Division II state cross country meet last fall — for the second season in a row — finishing 33rd in 16:44.1.
Lauren Schmitz (Troy volleyball, junior)
Troy volleyball may be losing leading hitter and graduate Camryn Moeller this season, but Lauren Schmitz will look to continue the team’s tradition of potent weapons on the outside. With Moeller leading the GWOC American North Division in kills by more than 50 last year with a total of 314, Schmitz — who will only be a junior this fall — will get the chance to shine after finishing second on the team in kills with 174 as the team begins its quest for its seventh straight division title.
Kenzie Evans (Troy girls soccer, senior)
After the Troy girls soccer team lost its leading returning scorer for the season due to an injury before the start of last fall, Kenzie Evans stepped into the leadership role and made a name for herself, as well. As a junior, she finished third in the overall GWOC in total points with 51 and was tied for second in the GWOC American North Division in goals with 20, helping lead the Trojans to their first outright division championship since 2013.
Kristen Dickison (Milton-Union girls soccer, senior)
The Milton-Union girls soccer team has won 13 games in each of the past three seasons, and one of the big reasons why has been the play of Kristen Dickison. Last year as a junior, Dickison was third in the Southwestern Buckeye League in total points with 61 — after being second in the league with 63 as a sophomore — scoring 27 goals and dishing out seven assists. She also helped lead the Bulldogs to their second district final appearance during the past three years, and she will look to help lead them there and even beyond during her senior season this fall.
Bailey Webb (Troy boys soccer, senior)
On a team that will be loaded with returning talent this year, Bailey Webb is a standout for the Troy boys soccer team. As a junior last year, he was third in the GWOC American North Division and sixth in the overall GWOC in total points with 37, scoring 14 goals and dishing out nine assists. Now going into his senior season, he will be looked to for leadership as the Trojans attempt to unseat back-to-back division champion Tippecanoe.
Holden Scribner (Troy boys golf, senior)
Holden Scribner has been facing expectations since he was a freshman on the Troy boys golf team — and his senior year will be no different. As a junior last year, he shot a 37.0 nine-hole average during the season, good enough for second in the GWOC American North Division and third in the overall GWOC. Scribner was also a first team All-GWOC American League selection and finished 27th at the Division I district tournament, tied with teammate and graduate Nate Uhlenbrock. Scribner enters the 2018 fall season still aiming to qualify for the state tournament for the first time.
Katie Sherrick (Troy tennis, senior)
Troy’s Katie Sherrick was one match away from earning a spot at the Division I state tournament last fall. After having played first singles for the Trojan girls tennis team all season, the then-junior teamed up with senior Emma Kazmaier, who played second singles all season, and won the sectional doubles championship. The duo then went on to win a match at the district tournament before falling in the quarterfinal round. Sherrick also earned first-team All-GWOC American League honors during the season.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.