A total of 34 young men in grades 10-12 have reported to practice for the Pleasantville Trojans to open the 2019 football season.
Coach Mack Jorth is in his second season at the helm.
The Trojans are coming off a season that produced a mark of 3-6 a year ago.
Back to bolster the hopes and enthusiasm of the Trojan squad are 10 starters along with nine other lettermen.
Jorth commented, “The strength of our team is the attitude and effort we bring to the game. Our player’s ability to play together, support and encourage each other.”
The weakness is the fact that the Trojans are lacking depth.
The coach added, “We have a couple sophomores that could play a role. Jake DeJoode is going to be a key contributor for us this year as a RB/LB, while Bristol Huyck, all purpose athlete, could help us out as well.”
In checking out the rest of the teams in the district, Jorth stated, “We plan on being very competitive in the conference this year. As always, Pella Christian sets the bar in this district, but all of the teams we play are formidable opponents and will have a chance to be very good. It will be an interesting and challenging battle I think!”
Returning starters for the Trojans are seniors Hunter Oliva, WR/DB; Cale Anthony, RB/LB; Alex Sampson, OL/DL; Brady Wiseman, OL/LB; Ragan Krichau, TE/LB and Kolbie Jarvis, WR/DB.
Four junior starters also return, Matthew Kauffman, Aaron Wilkins, Caylor Clark and Isaac Mann.
Clark is a quarterback/defensive back while Mann is a running back/linebacker.
Kauffman will provide strength on both sides of the line while Wilkins is listed as a wide receiver and defensive back.
The rest of the lettermen include Brendan Aldrich, Cael Berglund, Cole Sampson, Colby Sandholdt, Jake DeJoode, Wyatt Clark, Braiden Friday, Seth Schumacher and Dale Jolly.
There are always holes to fill from graduation and that includes five key players from the 2018 team. Gone are linemen Max Hinners and Daniel Kenyon along with linebackers Cael Lester and Quintin Berglund and wide receiver Grant Fouch. Lester also stared in the backfield and Fouch saw time at defensive back.
“We lost a lot of production, but I’m excited about the guys we have to fill those spots,” Jorth said.
“In summary I expect a great season full of great experiences for our guys. We will be a tough, competitive football team that gives everything they have every time they step on the field. We will be a group of guys that treats each other well and makes the most of every opportunity we get. I can’t wait to see them compete,” Jorth stated.
Odds and Ends
The Trojans open the season Friday, August 30 on the road against the Lynnville-Sully Hawks with kickoff set for 7 p.m.
Pleasantville has the unusual luxury of six home games in 2019. The home slate starts with Eddyville-Blakesburg Sept. 6.