Edgerton expects growing pains
Edgerton High’s Senior Night this football season could be the shortest in recorded history.
The Crimson Tide begin the year with just five seniors on the varsity roster, and three of those players aren’t going to be available for at least the first three weeks of the season.
Edgerton went 1-8 last year, and the prospects are a bit brighter this season.
“We’re not under any fantasy, thinking we’re going to contend this year,” Edgerton coach Mike Gregory said. “We just want to be competitive and play people tough every week.”
Juniors will pave the way.
Jaden Johnson returns as the starting quarterback after getting his first taste of varsity football as a sophomore.
He had a noteworthy season, throwing for 1,179 yards and 12 touchdowns in the Crimson Tide’s shotgun spread offense.
“That’s a great place to start,” Gregory said. “This year he is just so much more advanced and confident. He understands the system.”
Johnson’s favorite target will be classmate Mason Simmons, who caught 28 passes for 248 yards and three scores during his sophomore season.
“He’s head and shoulders above where he was last year,” Gregory said.
Junior Jordan Leitz anchors the offensive and defensive lines. Another junior, Cesar Ochoa, will start at guard and at linebacker on defense after also seeing extensive action as a sophomore.
B.K. Sanders, a senior running back and linebacker, is the top returning tackler after playing inside linebacker last year.
After those four juniors and Sanders, sophomores likely will dominate the early starting lineups.
“Our sophomores are skilled,” Gregory said. “We’re very athletic, but the only thing they lack is experience.”
The expected improvement began during the team’s scrimmage last Friday.
“We were like deer in headlights,” Gregory said about his team’s first series. “We really struggled. But as the night went on, we got more comfortable, and we took some major steps forward.
“We have some weapons,” Gregory said. “But how do you get experience?”
Only by playing.
And the future is bright.
“Next year, we think we can be right in the thick of things,” Gregory said.
One thing is a sure thing—next year’s Senior Night will take up a little more time.