Former Rockets excelling at the collegiate football level

Yaneek Smith

Press Sports Editor

Clay Schulte was one of the best football players in Ohio when he played running back and linebacker for Oak Harbor, earning first-team honors in Division V and being named the Sandusky Bay Conference Bay Division Player of the Year twice while leading the Rockets to a 13-1 record, a league title and the third regional championship in program history as a senior.
So it’s no surprise that he would have success at the collegiate level.
The third-year sophomore is playing linebacker at the University of Indianapolis and is currently third on the team with 52 tackles.
The Greyhounds, who compete in Division II, are having a very good season and are currently 8-1 and 5-0 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference.
Schulte, one of the greatest players in Oak Harbor football history, talked about how playing football in high school for Mike May and his father, Scott, the offensive coordinator, helped prepare him for competing at the collegiate level.
“I’d say the biggest things I learned that prepared me for college football were how to practice the correct way and how the mental preparation is just as important as the physical preparation for a game,” Clay Schulte said. “It says a lot about the program, not just because of how well it prepared us for not only football, but for life outside of football. There were many things that were taught to us that allowed us to succeed at the collegiate level.
“The program talks about being tough, disciplined and giving 100% effort at all times. It shows that the program does things the right way and that is why it is currently having the success it’s having.”
One of Schulte’s old teammates, Tyler May, who is the son of Mike May, is having a good season for the Wittenberg Tigers, a team with a rich history. Tyler May has caught 11 passes for 266 yards, good for third on the team, and has caught four touchdowns, second on the team.
Wittenberg, which is a Division III school, is currently 4-5 and 4-4 in the North Coast Athletic Conference.
May, who has emerged as a big-play threat, talked about his experience playing for Wittenberg.
“It’s been great. I’ve loved every minute of it. It’s been great to meet and play with guys from all over,” he said. “I’ve gotten the chance to play for a program with a really strong tradition, which is exciting, so my experience has gone really well.”
May talked about his time playing for the Rockets.
“Our high school program is run by a great staff that holds every player to a high standard. Toughness and accountability are a few things that the staff preaches to every team,” he said. “The lessons I learned in high school have definitely prepared me for college ball.”
May, who wants to be an intervention specialist, reflected on the challenges that come with balancing athletics and academics.
“At times, it can be challenging during the season because of the minimal free time you have,” he said. “But if you prioritize academics and manage your time well, it makes life much easier.”
Zach and Gabe Dowling, who transferred from Clyde to Oak Harbor before their senior seasons, are playing on the offensive line at Concordia University in Ann Arbor. The Cardinals, who are members of the NAIA, are currently 3-5 and 2-3 in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference.
Parker Smith was playing on the offensive line for Heidelberg University but had to retire due to injuries. He is now a student coach for the Student Princes, who are 6-2 and 5-2 in the Division III Ohio Athletic Conference.
Michael Wojciechowski, who was one of the top long snappers in the nation when he played for the Rockets, is now a redshirt junior with the Stetson Hatters, an FCS school located in DeLand, Florida that competes in the Pioneer Football League.
Oak Harbor has had its share of success in recent years. The Rockets have won three league titles in the last five seasons and have gone 7-3 in the playoffs. Oak Harbor had its heart broken in the last week when it lost 24-20 to Eastwood in the second round of the Division V playoffs. The Rockets defeated rival Genoa 47-36 in the first round.


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