As summer is coming to a close there is excitement in the air as STC fall sports ramp up for the 2014 fall season. The Trojan football team is set to see several new opponents this season as they have moved from Class 3A to Class 2A District 6. The move doesn't appear to worry STC coach Jay Hoskey. "It didn't really matter what class we were going into, we expected to be better this year no matter who we are playing," said Hoskey.
This season sees the return of a majority of the coaching staff however there will be a couple of new faces. Hoskey remains as the Head Varsity Coach along with his assistant varsity coach, Nate Doran. Also returning to the coaching staff are Head Freshman Coach Nate Van Dyke, JV Coach Dustin Peska, Eighth grade coach Levi Hunerdosse, Assistant eighth grade coach Seth Koch and seventh grade coach Brian Anderson. Also assisting with the varsity team are Scott Bolen, and Cort Ahrens. The Trojans are also welcoming in two former STC graduates, JJ Novotny (2001) and Danny Mayo (2003) as assistants on the varsity squad. Mayo has been teaching and coaching for the Maquoketa School District for the past few years.
Graduating just eight members of last season's roster, the Trojans are hard at work prepping for a new year with new teammates and new opponents. Eighteen of the varsity members recently attended a football camp held at Coe College. Head Coach Jay Hoskey felt it was a good experience stating, "We had four fully padded practices and saw what our weaknesses were and what we need to work on." The STC coaching staff also hosted their own camp on Aug. 4-8 at the STC practice field.
Head Coach Jay Hoskey introduces the STC football coaching staff to the players on the first night of football camp. Coaches L-R: Nate VanDyke, Scott Bolen, Brian Anderson, Jay Hoskey, Dustin Peska, Danny Mayo, Nate Doran and JJ Novotny.
Chronicle Photo/Allison Graham
After battling through several key injuries last season, the Trojans hope to improve upon last season's 3-6 record and appear to be on the right track. "We have a really nice junior class with a majority of our starters being juniors. A lot of those guys have experience from last year," stated Hoskey. To kick off the season, the Trojans will be hosting the annual "Gator Bowl" on Friday Aug. 22 at the high school.
According to Hoskey the Trojan bench is deeper than it has been for quite some time. Senior Dalton Doyle will again lead the Trojans under center as he begins his second season as STC's starting quarterback. Hoskey has confidence in Doyle saying, "Doyle is standing out, just the mental part of it, he throws the ball well and we are confident in his abilities." Last year's freshman starting quarterback Clayton Rosenberger and junior Darius Lasley could also see playing time as backups.
STC Varsity/freshman football schedule
09/12 Iowa Falls-Alden
09/19 @Union, La Porte City
09/26 South Hardin
10/03 @Roland-Story, Story City
10/17 @East Marshall, LeGrand
The Trojans will return a heavy-hitting backfield that include last season's top three rushers Bo Blocker, Jerry Lowe and fullback Peyton "Bubba" Rutledge.
Rutledge will be a man of many hats this season and, according to Hoskey, is "maybe one of our most valuable guys." "(Rutledge) does a lot of things for us. He will be signal caller on defense, long snapper on punts, and is one heck of a good blocker and good runner," said Hoskey of the junior.
Mitch Thede and Ian Slagle look to anchor the offensive line for the Trojans. Another transfer student, Cody Kellogg, played backup quarterback last year until his coaches discovered his talents as a wide receiver. Hoskey praised Kellogg on his quickness and said he could be the Trojan's best jumper. The STC receiving core will also include junior Colson Frakes, sophomore Riley Davenport, senior Ryan Kasal, with Bo Blocker getting some touches out of the backfield.
As for the defensive line, the Trojans will have a platoon of players that will share the time. "We have Ian Slagle coming back, Shaquille Carrillo, Kyle Kucera, Josh Ledvina, and Kordell Shrock who was a transfer student last year. Hopefully we can rotate some guys in," said Hoskey.
Hoskey stated, "We are very optimistic about this year and building for the future too. If we can keep everyone doing the right things we are going to be a good team this year."