Just as they have the last six seasons, the Portsmouth Trojans and Valley Indians will kick off the 2018 regular season of football in Scioto county Thursday night in Lucasville.
While the schools that kickoff the season of football remain the same this year, there is some change in regard to who will be leading one of the programs. Indians head coach Darren Crabtree is heading into his 26th season as the head man in Lucasville, while new Trojans head coach Bruce Kalb is heading into his first season as the head coach in Portsmouth.
Kalb, who was the Trojans offensive coordinator for the last three seasons under former Trojan head coach Aaron Duncan, is looking to take his team north on U.S. Highway 23 to defeat the Indians in both teams opening game.
The Trojans three key pieces on the field Thursday night will be the explosive junior running back Talyn Parker, senior quarterback Danny Lattimore, and senior offensive lineman Colin Boehm.
Parker, who had his injury problems in seasons prior, is looking to right the ship this season and remain healthy throughout his junior year to reach high statistical feats. “I’m wanting at least 2,500 yards this year” said Parker at Trojans media day, “I’m running behind a great offensive line this season, so it should be a good year.”
Parker will be running behind senior Colin Boehm, the anchor of the Portsmouth offensive line. “He makes us look good whenever he has the ball” said Boehm when speaking of what it is like to block for an explosive playmaker like Parker, “He makes it really easy for us.”
Valley is looking to avenge their 35-7 defeat at the hands of the Trojans a year ago, this time hoping their home field advantage and offseason workout regiment will make the difference in the season’s opening contest. Senior running back for the Indians, Gabe Streeter, has faith that he and his teammates offseason intensity will prove to matter in crunch time. “We’re really looking forward for that first game,” said Streeter, “Coach has pushed us pretty hard so far this year, we’re going to be a lot better.”
Valley, who finished the 2017 campaign at 3-7, has done everything this offseason to hope to see that win total increase in 2018. Senior wide receiver for the Indians, Tanner Spradlin, knows his team has all the pieces to make his senior year a special one. “Last year, we didn’t get a lot of wins” said Spradlin, “But I feel like this year we have the talent, and the coaching staff that we can get some wins this season and succeed at a lot of things.”
Returning as the starting quarterback for the Indians will be Andrew Shope. For Shope and his teammates to be successful in their home opener, he knows there must be a strong community showing in Lucasville Thursday night. ““I really want to get more wins than last year” said Shope, “Since it’s my last season as a Valley Indian, I’d like to get our community back into it and really represent well.”
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter at @JacobSmithPDT