SCIOTOVILLE – As of their football media day Monday afternoon in Sciotoville, the East Tartans football roster consisted of just 22 players, 14 of which are underclassmen (freshman and sophomores). Having only six seniors provides benefit for East, however, particularly their four senior captains who have enjoyed success together on the football field. Seniors Chase Coyle, Braidan Haney, Austin Smith, and Chase Bond are all excited to rep their Tartan pride on the gridiron this fall.
“Very excited to be back at East,” said senior captain Braidan Haney. “We’ve done so much together as a team, especially this senior class. I can’t wait. With the SOC being as wide open as it is, I really think we can bring another championship back here.”
“Ready to get out there and play a game,” said senior captain offensive lineman Chase Boyd. “We missed it over the summer. We’ve been working hard, ready to get back out there and compete.”
In head coach Matt Miller’s first season a year ago, the Tartans finished 3-7 overrall with a 2-3 record in SOC I play (wins over Northwest and Symmes Valley). However, to say this group of six senior Tartans do not know success would be a far stretch from the truth. During their freshman and sophomore seasons, East compiled a 19-4 record including two postseason games played in 2017. To help elevate their younger teammates, these four Tartan captains are helping enstill what it takes to help build a winning program.
“I feel like we lead by example,” Bond said. “We take this game very serious, but we’re also here to have fun. We make sure everyone’s in a good mood and everyone’s happy. We’ve had some guys in the past who were really good senior leaders, I feel like we’ve learned a lot from those guys about how to be leaders on and off the field.”
“We’ve all played since sophomore year, and some of us freshman year,” said Coyle. “So we’ve been really working with our freshman how to play the game at a varsity level, and how to keep making us a better team after every game and every practice.”
The major theme discussed when talking to players for SOC I schools? How wide open the conference is. Oak Hill’s run of back to back SOC I titles is over after the Oaks moved up to SOC II in football. East’s players are no different. Each of the four senior captains believe that if they take advantage of their opportunities, they’ll be right their in the hunt for their second conference title in the last four years.
“I really think we can go and make the playoffs,” Smith said. “With the group of seniors we have and the talented freshman and sophomores, I think we’re going to be right there, winning as many games as we can.”
“I really want us to bring an SOC I championship back,” Haney said. “And for us to go there and have fun. We’re in the weight room singing, dancing, having fun. We’ve done so much, for us to end on a high note would be a great thing.”
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at email@example.com, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2019 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved