PORTSMOUTH – The dog days of summer are coming to a halt (slowly), local student athletes will be heading back to school in the next few weeks, both things that signal the start of the high school fall sports season being just around the corner.
After a 3-7 season with two big wins against county rivals Green and East and a few games that potentially should have ended differently, the Notre Dame Titans are looking to have an injury free, competitive year of football as they hope to compete for one of the top spots in the SOC.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing how our team works with our freshman this year,” Notre Dame junior Logan Emnett said at Titans fall media day Saturday while looking forward to the season. “I think that if we all put in the effort, we can really make a push for the SOC this year.”
A season ago, Emnett was the Titans biggest play maker on the gridiron after injuries piled up on both sides of the ball. During his sophomore campaign, Emnett lead the Titans in rushing with 1,215 yards and 18 rushing touchdowns over the coarse of the Titans ten game season despite not entering the season as their number one option in the ground attack.
“Being out there at guard, being one of Logan and Jake’s [McGuire] lead blockers,” said junior offensive lineman Ethan Kammer who a year ago was the Titans go-to blocking tight end. “It makes me feel like I have a pretty important job to have to be able to block for them, especially for someone who I think is one of the best running backs in the SOC (Emnett).”
The injury bug took it’s toll a season ago on Notre Dame in the form of losing senior captain Ben Mader for an extended period of time, as well as other key pieces to their offensive and defensive approaches. Ahead of this season, junior Caleb Nichols will be sidelined from his quarterback position due to a Tommy John surgery he underwent earlier this spring. With just a 25 man roster, one of the key components to the Titans season this year will be avoiding injuries at all cost.
If the Titans are able to avoid injuries that can hamper a small school’s playing style and depth at times, they undoubtedly have a chance to compete for one of the top spots in the SOC I. A 16-8 Week Six home win over a Green team that made that playoffs a year ago and a 49-8 Week Ten win over rival East showcase what the Titans are able to do if they stay healthy and execute in all areas of the game.
“Those wins give us the momentum to think that if we can beat Green that went 8-3 that we can do the same thing and maybe even do better,” Emnett said of his team’s chances in 2019. “If we really put our minds to it and give the amount of effort we know we can, anything is possible with this team.”
“We started 0-5 last year and then beat a 5-0 team (Green),” Kammer said. “That’s a rough first part of the season, but that helps us to know that we can do it. And then beating East in the last game of the year, that gives us a momentum boost going into week one this season.”
Notre Dame begins their season with a home game against Racine Southern Friday August 30th with kickoff at 7 p.m. at Spartan Municipal Stadium in Downtown Portsmouth.
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2019 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved