PORTSMOUTH — With the 2022 football season kicking off in less than a week in Scioto County, three Portsmouth Trojan seniors are looking forward to the opportunity of leading their team onto the gridiron.
Seniors Reade Pendleton, Beau Hammond and Tyler Duncan are members of a Trojans senior class looking to make its fifth straight appearance in the OHSAA playoffs.
“It’s been pretty good, we’ve been working really hard and grinding every single day. We’ve been pushing each other every day and I’ve been seeing the improvement from us.”
“Everyone’s been putting in the work. We’re pushing each other every day, getting better as the days go on. Everyone’s showing up and putting in the maximum effort.”
“It’s been great. When we first started, it was a work in progress. We’ve been getting in the weight room and we’re going to be a tough team to beat. We expect to win week in and week out, the culture that Coach Kalb and his staff have built, you don’t have words for it. They’ve built a winning tradition and Portsmouth football is back where it needs to be.”
Pendleton is a two-time first team Ohio Valley Conference honoree who will be looking to add a third-straight first-team selection to his resume.
He’s also been the Trojans’ leading receiver during his sophomore and junior seasons.
Duncan will assume the starting quarterback position, taking over for the now graduated Drew Roe.
Duncan appeared in both Portsmouth-Ironton games last season, as well as playing spot varsity minutes during the regular season.
“Since we’ve already been playing varsity downs, we’re pretty used to the game and the speed compared to our freshman year,” Pendleton said.
“It helps. Being behind Drew Roe for three years, he really taught me a lot,” Duncan said. “Getting to go in against Ironton last year showed me what varsity football is really about.”
“For the younger guys, it helps because they see and see us lead by example,” Hammond said. “Us older guys that have playing experience, we know how the game goes so they follow us.”
Portsmouth opens their season at Valley for the first time since their 57-40 win in Lucasville in 2018.
The Trojans close out their non-league schedule with their home opener is week two versus Portsmouth West and a week three-road game at Spring Valley (W.Va.).
In Ohio Valley Conference play, Portsmouth hosts Rock Hill, Gallia Academy, Fairland and Ironton, and travels to Coal Grove, Chesapeake and South Point.
Its seniors’ goals are playoff-appearance centered — with a successful regular season to go with it.
“Win two playoff games this year and host a playoff game,” Pendleton said.
“Host a playoff game and beat Ironton,” Hammond said.
“We’ve got to make the playoffs first,” Duncan said. “We think we’ve got what it takes to do that, win a couple of playoff games and keep advancing. Keep getting better and better.”
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