Falcons prepare for season opener


MINFORD — With their season opener at Rock Hill on Friday, the Minford Falcons will be aiming toward the program’s fourth-straight trip to the OHSAA playoffs.

Senior Hunter Pendleton and junior Jeffrey Pica are the Falcons’ returning Southern Ohio Conference Division II first-team members from their 6-4 campaign in 2021.

“It’s been really good. We’re working hard, we’ve got a bunch of new players working hard and proving themselves,” Pendleton said, of the team’s early-season practices. “It’s been a big thing getting better every single day as a team and individually.”

“We’ve been working hard in the weight room, been out on the field and started pads recently,” Pica said. “Our work ethic has been high.”

Pendleton and Pica help lead a Minford team, under the direction of coach Jesse Ruby, with returning experience and an infusion of youth with a strong freshman class.

Their experience on the field has helped prepare them as they continue in their high school careers as upperclassmen.

“I’ve had three years varsity experience. I’ve seen the grit and toughness in our younger players that we have as seniors, it’s really good to see,” Pendleton said. “Enjoying the season and team.”

“It’s helped me, myself and other kids have become leaders for the team,” Pica said. “The past two seasons we’ve had some great leaders, they showed us how to lead by example.”

After opening its season at Rock Hill, Minford hosts Chesapeake, Washington Court House and East Clinton — with a road game at Wellston in week three sandwiched between its home non-league games.

In SOC II play, the Falcons travel to Wheelersburg, Oak Hill and Valley, and have home games versus Portsmouth West and Waverly.

“We want to win, want to improve. We’ve come a long way — we’re replacing a quarterback for the second-straight year. But we’ve looked really good in the passing camps,” Pendleton said, of the team’s goals. “Hoping we have a good year.”

“Make the playoffs and have a winning season,” Pica said.

Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 370-0713 ext. 1930, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved

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