HOT SPRINGS TROJANS: Trojans look to improve this fall
August 26, 2012
After a dismal 1-9 season in 2011, the Hot Springs Trojans hope to turn things around this year.
“The kids competed well. We just never could seem to get over that hump,” said head coach Chris Vereen. “We knew we needed to win some games early and just fell short, and it seemed like it snowballed on us.”
One specific game that stood out to Vereen was the 17-10 loss to Hope. The Trojans put up close to 500 yards of total offense and held Hope to 130 yards and still couldn’t pull off the victory.
“Mathematically, that ought to be impossible,” he said. “It seemed like we had averaged about four turnovers a game, and it seemed like they were at crucial moments.”
With seven returning starters on offense, Vereen hopes experience will be an asset to this year’s team.
Leading the Trojans will be senior Ryan Morrow, who started the last seven games of 2011 after quarterback Zach Knapp injured his shoulder.
“Our offense is based around the midline and the option game,” Vereen said. “[Morrow] is a great option runner; he does an outstanding job reading [the defense].
Vereen added that Morrow will be a great leader for the team because he leads by example.
This season, Knapp will move to wide receiver. Vereen said Knapp’s experience as quarterback helps him understand everything about the offense.
“Zach is a great athlete,” Vereen said.
The Trojans’ other main receiver will be senior Kyonn Washington, whom Vereen calls a “tremendous athlete.”
“You get the ball close to him, and he’s going to catch it,” Vereen said.
Two starters are returning to the Trojan backfield in senior Quin Coleman and senior Rolando Johnson. Coleman put up 1,528 rushing yards last season.
“Any back that has a 1,500-yard season [is] outstanding,” Vereen said. “He has a mixture of power and speed.”
Johnson, Vereen said, might not have the speed that Coleman possesses, but Johnson makes up for it with brute force.
“He’s a big, bruiser-type back that’s going to get you the tough yards,” Vereen said. “He’s one of those kind of guys that if we need 3 yards, we feel like he’s going to get it.”
On defense, senior Michael Webb will be the middle linebacker, and Vereen said he believes Webb will be the anchor for the defense.
“He did not play last year. He came back in the offseason, put in a great offseason, and he’s doing an excellent job,” the coach said.
Sophomore Anthony Goffigan will move up from the junior high team into an outside linebacker slot, while Johnson and sophomore Taylor Giles will rotate in as well.
Vereen said he has three goals for the team this season: Win the first game to start things off right; win the last game to finish the season solid; and make the playoffs.