40 Teams in 40 Days – Day 3 – Troy Area (4)
Conference: Northern Tier League, Large School Division
Coach: Jim Smith
2012 Record: 8-3
Returning Players – Offense: Jr. C Dylan Brennan; Jr. OT Brock Schucker; Sr. TE Walker West; Sr. QB Jed Wright; Jr. FB Nick Stephani; Sr. FB Josh MacClaren; Jr. TB Brandon Mattocks; Jr. TB Issac Havens; Sr. WR Ryan Reeves
Returning Players – Defense: Sr. DE Walker West; Sr. DE Josh MacClaren; Jr. DT Briar Jenkins; Sr. DT Levi Smith; Sr. DT Caelan Taylor; So. MLB Kyle Schucker; Jr. LB Issac Havens; Jr. LB Nick Stephani; Sr. LB Zack Edwards; Jr. CB Brandon Mattocks
Special Teams: “Josh MacClaren is back as our kicker and punter. Wright is our main kick and punt returner. He had a outstanding year back there last season. He has a 50/50 shot at getting you something big back there. Sophomore Diante Jones will get some playing time at kick returner. He did a good job last year as a freshman at running back and he is really fast.”
Top Newcomers: WR Kyle Jackson; So. ATH Diante Jones; So. DE Cody Ercolino; So. DL Takota Kelly
How’s your offensive line look for this year?
“We have Dylan Brennan back at center. Brock Schucker is one of our offensive tackles back. Our line will be strong again this year. We had almost 4,000 yards rushing last year. We have kids that are capable of filling the other three spots.”
What experience does your quarterback bring?
“He has been a starter since his sophomore year at tailback and slot back. His name is Jed Wright. Than last year as a junior he started at quarterback. He threw for 447 yards and nine touchdowns. We didn’t throw much. We are a triple option football team. He was very efficient doing it. He completed 27 of 55 passes. He had 1,564 yards rushing and 18 touchdowns. He was offensive player of the year in our league. He is a great athlete, super fast, smart and very elusive.”
You have a lot of depth at running back. Who are some of the key backs?
“We had 18 different players run the ball from the tailback or fullback position last season. Out of the 18 kids, nine were regulars. We lost three of the 18. At fullback we have Nick Stephani and Josh MacClaren. They combined for over 500 yards rushing. At tailback we have Brandon Mattocks and Issac Havens. We have a lot of depth at tailback.”
How do your receivers look?
“We moved one of our fullbacks to tight end, Walker West. He did play some tight end last year. He is a great blocking tight end and has great hands. He is a three-year starter. At receiver we have Ryan Reeves returning. All are receivers are a extension of the line. They are all good blockers.”
How’s your defensive line look?
“Walker West and Josh MacClaren return on the defensive line. Both kids are three-year starters. Briar Jenkins was a starter last year at defensive tackle as well as Levi Smith. Caelan Taylor played at tackle. Those kids combined for about 200 tackles.”
You have depth at linebacker position. Who are those kids?
“We have Kyle Schucker back and he is our middle linebacker and was the quarterback of the defense. He was a real surprise for us last year. He is a 5-foot-11, 205-pound kid, very smart and as a freshman he had 77 tackles. Nick Stephani and Issac Havens are back. Stephani started as a freshman and he had 86 tackles last year. Havens also started as a freshman. He is a great athlete. The great thing about these kids is, I will have all these linebackers for a couple of years. Zach Edwards is another one and he will be a senior.”
What about your secondary?
“At corner we are going to have Brandon Mattocks. We are going to have to replace the other corner spot. Players that will compete for playing time are Kyle Jackson, Diante Jones, Ryan Reeves, and Ross Sherman among others.”
Lots of experience back. They returned 17 of 22 kids. Last season the strength of the team was their offense. “If our defense was at the same level as our offense last year we would still be playing. Last year we were real young. I think we had six kids on defense that were sophomores and two or three that were juniors. But by the end of the year they were much improved. They are athletic and I foresee them to stronger this season.”
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