2007 Knox County
Eagle Football Preview
By David Sharp
Advancing maturity along with a solid off season training performance are keys to Knox County improving their 2-8 overall varsity football record from last season. The Eagles go into their conference and season opener against Schuyler County looking to replace their leading ground gainer along with one of their better linemen and two speed players.
Caleb Shubert rushed for over 1000 yards and led the 2006 Eagles in touchdowns. Tyson Ausmus was a three year starter at running back and linebacker.
The Eagles also face the loss of incoming senior Daniel McMahon to a back injury. Sophomore Clayton Cooper led the Eagles in quarterback sacks and was a projected starter on both sides of the football. Cooper’s family recently moved to Texas.
The Eagles started out slowly in their August 24 jamboree at Milan. South Harrison scored twice on Knox County and pretty well stalled Knox County’s offense until late in their series. The Bulldogs were the better team of the three team field. Milan and South Harrison were pretty much even after the Bulldogs scored on their first possession.
Knox County executed better as play went on. The Eagles sucked it up and scored an 80 yard touchdown on a Zach Parrish running play on their first offensive play against Tri-Rivers Conference rival Milan. The Wildcats drummed Knox County 54-7 in their 2006 varsity meeting.
“We had to knock the dust off our shoulder pads,” said Knox County coach Steve Ramer. “A lot of the kids were nervous in the huddle early. Finally they realized it was football. Go out and whack somebody.”
“We came out and forced five fumbles tonight. They were all on good solid whacks,” said Ramer. Lucus Hudson flew nearly ten yards to recover a fumble against Milan. The Wildcats put the ball on the ground two or three times against Knox County. Hudson had two fumble recoveries on the night.
Knox County was without projected starting quarterback Keenan Gillaspy and lineman Kane Simmons due to injury. Cody Morgenstern laid a nice 35 yard pass to receiver Tristan Lonberger near the Milan ten yard line. Lonberger delivered one of the best blocks of the jamboree on a wide receiver screen play.
“Knox County showed a lot of heart tonight,” said Milan coach John Dabney of the jamboree. “They caused us a lot of problems. We moved the ball well against South Harrison. We put the ball on the ground too many times. Overall it was a competitive jamboree.”
Freshman Davin York scored a Knox County touchdown during a junior varsity series and had a 30 yard plus run. Nathan Goodwin, Ben Delaney, Cody Simmons, Brady Morton, Justin Reeves and Cameron Morford are the remaining Knox County football freshmen.
Lucus Hudson, Andy Greenley and senior Zach Parrish should join Keenan Gillaspy or Cody Morgenstern in the Knox County offensive backfield. Junior Dennis Dent lines up at tight end. Brian Schrage, Ethan Hustead, Jacob Moots, John Greenley, Hayden Hunziker and Jeremy Hudson played a lot of varsity minutes in the jamboree.
Sophomores Cameron Kirmse and Tristan Lonberger lined up at wide receiver. Jacob Moots, Ethan Hustead, John Greenley, Jeremy Hudson and Hayden Hunziker took reps along the defensive line.
Lucus Hudson, Brian Schrage, Andy Greenley and Zach Parrish were varsity linebackers. Cameron Kirmse and Tristan Lonberger manned the cornerback slots. Dennis Dent saw a lot of time as the Eagle safety.
‘I think we got what we wanted out of the jamboree for the most part,” said Steve Ramer. “The kids were a little embarrassed against South Harrison. They said that is not us. We lined up and got off the ball against Milan. We have a lot more offense in store and we have a lot of things to work on.”
“We are a step closer to where we want to be,” said Ramer.
Knox County has their first three Tri-Rivers Conference football games at Ella Campbell Field. The Eagles challenge Schuyler County in week one. The Rams may operate out of a spread offense. Knox County takes on Scotland County for the Clyde Trophy in week two.
The Eagles won the traveling trophy for the first time since the award was established in 1996 last season. Knox County challenges conference football favorite Brookfield in week three before heading out for a non-conference contest with an improved Westran club.
Knox County travels to Clark and then Putnam County before hosting Milan on October 12. The Eagles host Paris beginning district play on October 19. The Eagles travel to North Shelby on October 26 before heading to defending Class 1 state champion South Shelby for their final regular season game.
Brookfield and Clark County are the projected top two conference football teams. Putnam County, Milan and North Shelby are picked by many coaches and media outlets for the next three slots. Knox County will have six games under their belts before attempting to climb over these three teams in the conference standings.
The Eagles should go into their first two games as favorites. Schuyler County and Scotland County will look to prove prognosticators wrong that pick the Tigers and Rams for the remaining two Tri-Rivers Conference football finishers.
Knox County should be improved from a season ago. Losing Daniel McMahon and Clayton Cooper for the season during training camp definitely harms the Eagle chances.
“Losing those two was a shock to our systems,” said Coach Ramer. “It probably hurts our overall team speed more than anything. Subs become starters and other people have to step up.”
“I think it puts more pressure on our offensive line. They have to step up,” said Ramer. “Cameron Kirmse caught some balls tonight. Tristan Lonberger caught a nice long ball tonight. I think Jacob Moots has made huge strides up front. Keenan Gillaspy has been nursing an injury.”
“Cody Morgenstern has came into himself this past week,” said Ramer. “That’s going to be a great competition during the season as far as who’s going to be the quarterback. That is a great luxury as a coach. Lucus Hudson has been showing up this year.”
“You have to give the credit to the offensive line. If we win games on offense and score points, it’s going to be up to that O line. Zach Parrish had some nice runs tonight. If the backs hold on to the football and run through the holes the line creates, they will get the credit,” said Coach Ramer. “But we will be a better team if that line performs.”
“The same thing goes on defense,” commented Ramer. “It all starts up front. We are going to need out fast kids against some solid opponents. Our main focus right now is the Schuyler County Rams. We have got a lot of work to do.”
“We have a lot of things to fix. We want to be as close to perfection as we can be. We have the first three games at home. We are going to work them one game at a time,” said Ramer.
“When we get to Brookfield, we will see where we are at and see what surprises are in store for us.”