By Rick Palsgrove
Mitchell Westcamp is the new Groveport Madison Cruisers varsity football coach.
Westcamp has served as an assistant coach in the Cruiser football program since 2008, working with multiple offensive positions and special teams. For the past seven years he coached offense and was the quarterback and running back coach the past couple of years.
“Coach Westcamp had a very solid interview that included a solid plan for the future,” said Groveport Madison Athletic Director Steve Petros. “He always has great relationships with players. We see this on a daily basis in the classroom, in our halls and on the field.”
Westcamp replaces Bryan Schoonover, who resigned as head coach on Jan. 6 after serving in the position for seven years and compiling a record of 29-44. This past season Schoonover led the team to a 10-3 record in winning the Ohio Capital Conference Capital Division championship as well as progressing to the Division 1 regional state playoff game.
Westcamp is a 1999 graduate of Groveport Madison High School. He graduated from Wilmington College in 2003 with a degree in English and integrated language arts. He also played wide receiver all four years. He has masters degree in educational leadership from Muskingum University.
Westcamp has deep roots in the Groveport Madison community.
“I’ve always wanted to come back and be the head coach here at Groveport Madison,” said Westcamp. “I’m a third generation graduate of Groveport Madison and I’m raising my kids here, this is our home. These opportunities don’t come often and I’m excited to come back to be the head football coach where I grew up.”
He said playing in the always tough Ohio Capital Conference will be a test for the football Cruisers.
“With our schedule, week in and week out, every game is a challenge,” said Westcamp. “Our kids are excited to get after it and it’s going to be a huge challenge playing Canal Winchester week one. We are excited to have this rivalry game back to week one and it will be a big test for our team to start the season.”
He said the Cruisers’ shift to a new OCC division will make each week competitive.
“It doesn’t get any easier with having Pickerington Central, Reynoldsburg, Lancaster, Central Crossing, and Newark on the schedule,” said Westcamp. “Then you add our crossover game with Dublin Coffman, a playoff team from last year.”
Westcamp said the football program will continue its focus on its recent academic and athletic success.
“It’s always a challenge to balance both of those, but our kids have shown over the past couple years that they are capable of the challenge. We have maintained a 3.0 GPA or higher over the past couple of years and our goal is to keep that trend going.”
He said the Cruisers will stick with the Wing-T as the team’s primary offense.
“We have had a lot of success running the football the past two years and our guys have really bought into the system,” said Westcamp. “We are currently looking at our defense because we lost a couple of key defensive coaches to retirement that we have to replace. I can tell you that our kids on defense will be physical and fly to the football.”
“There are always challenges when taking on a head coaching position,” said Petros. “In my years as an athletic director, I’ve seen the biggest struggles usually have to do with organizing a big operation. This is definitely Coach Westcamp’s strong point in that he has been the behind the scenes organizer for the program for a number of years. We are excited to see him take the reins of the program.”