Saturday night did not end the way that Trojan fans would have liked it too with a loss to Middletown Madison 26-0, but there were positives to take away from Portsmouth’s performance Saturday and their season overall that indicate they will be a force in the years to come in Southern Ohio.
“When we started the season and I met with the seniors, we kind of knew that no one expected us to have a good season” said first year head coach Bruce Kalb, “So I asked them what kind of season they wanted to have and if they wanted to have a great season, something we haven’t had in a few years. Two years ago, we finished 6-4, last year we finished 5-5. I asked them if they would be satisfied with that and of course the seniors said no, we want something better than that. They said they wanted to have an exceptional season where they not only have a winning record, but also compete for a league championship and go to the playoffs. So, I told them if they want to have that kind of season then they’ll need to work for it.”
Kalb says that this year’s senior class of Trojans have paved the way for the current underclassman to learn and grow.
“I can’t say enough about this senior class. It was tough to have to look at them and know they won’t be able to put that jersey on again. They did an outstanding job as seniors by helping us as coaches try to establish the kind of program that was here when I was here. They fought all the way until the last quarter. Madison was trying to run the ball to run the clock out, and our kids fought the whole time and were trying to get the ball back. Those kids were still trying to get back on offense to be able to punch one in. That’s who they are and that’s the legacy they’ll leave with this program. I told the junior class that’s what they’ll need to pick up moving forward.”
Although the Trojans do lose a number of players to graduation, junior tail backs Talyn Parker and Tyler McCoy will be returning for Portsmouth in 2019, along with a number of other players who will be hoping to extend their postseason streak to two seasons.
“Having the success that we had this season will definitely peak the interest of some kids who were kind of on the fence this season about playing” said Kalb, “Kids in the hallways might be taking that wait and see approach with me being a first year head coach. Having success is definitely going to keep kids interested and get kids to come out and play. We do lose a lot especially up front, but last year we lost a lot too. We lost our whole entire offensive line from Anthony Ferrara, Jadan Josey, Cody Spencer, some really good players up front. That was the question mark coming into this season, how are we going to be able to replace those offensive lineman. I knew that we had to hit the weights in the offseason, and we’ll need to do the same thing this offseason. After we have our 30 day off period, I’m going to have the weight room open this offseason, so we can try to build off of our success this year. That’s the thing that this senior class did is they busted their butts the whole offseason, the whole team did. They took it personally and worked that much harder this past offseason. I think that is going to be the thing that stays in the mind of this junior class is that the games are won in the fall during the offseason. In the weight room, pushing yourself to get better, faster, and stronger.”
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT