Tuscarawas Valley returns seven starters from last year’s playoff team

Image

Tuscarawas Valley Trojans

Tuscarawas Vallley will return seven starters from last year’s team
(three on offense and four on defense) and could be in a bit of
rebuilding mode this season. Replacing quarterback Pat Kane, a
three-year starter, will be head coach Dale Martini’s biggest challenge.

As one opposing coach noted about the Trojans though, “They never rebuild.”


PLAYERS TO WATCH

RB/LB Cody Close (5-9, 180, Sr.), OL/DL Garrett Patterson (6-3, 305, Jr.), OL/DL Tyler Stoneman (6-5, 290, Jr.), OL/DL Jeff Reed (6-0, 185, Jr.), OL/DL Andrew Hopwood (6-0, 230, Jr.), OL/DL Cam Norris (5-10, 170, Jr.), RB/DB Tyler Robinson (5-11, 190, So.) and OL/DL Craig Babcock-Miller (5-9, 230, So.).

SEASON OUTLOOK

2007 Record: 8-3, Regional quarterfinalist

The Trojans will only return seven starters from last year’s team (three on offense and four on defense) and could be in a bit of rebuilding mode this season. Replacing quarterback Pat Kane, a three-year starter, will be head coach Dale Martini’s biggest challenge.

As one opposing coach noted about the Trojans though, “They never rebuild.”

Martini, who enters his 16th year at the helm of TV football, said his squad did lose a lot of good football players from last season’s team that won a third consecutive PAC championship. With only seven starters back, Martini called 2008 “a tell tale year for us.”

With Tusky Valley naturally expected to have somewhat of a down year, Martini’s “I think we’ve got a lot of very good young talent” explains why the opposing coach said the Trojans won’t be rebuilding this year.

“We lost a lot of kids from last year’s team,” Martini pointed out. “We are going to be very young, but that makes for a lot of competition on the offensive and defensive side of the football…and that is a plus. I don’t think physically or team chemistry will be a problem. For us, getting reps in a competitive situation is very important.”

The Trojans enter the new season as the three-time defending PAC champion. Claiming a fourth is just one of Martini’s goals.

“We had a string there and some teams will probably be looking for a little payback this season,” Martini quipped. “Our goal is to get back to the playoffs. To do that, we’re going to have to fill some holes. Replacing Kane is a priority. There is competition for the job and the kids are capable of getting the job done. We also lost our entire interior offensive line, but our size up front should not be a problem.

“Being established for 16 years, it’s obviously an advantage for us because the kids know what to expect. We’ve been in this situation before. We’re just anxious to get out on the field and see where we’re at.”

SCHEDULE

8/22 Apple Creek Waynedale
8/29 Akron Coventry
9/5 @ Sugarcreek Garaway
9/12 Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy
9/19 @ Massillon Tuslaw
9/26 @ Canton Timken
10/3 Akron Manchester
10/10 @ Wooster Triway
10/17 Navarre Fairless
10/24 @ Gnadenhutten Indian Valley

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *