Trenton HS launches the season tomorrow night vs Taylor Truman.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
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The offensive and defensive lines will be huge factors in whether the Trenton Trojans will find success on the field this year, according to Coach Bob Czarnecki.
“We’re going to have to be able to run the football,” Czarnecki said. “Just like every year, we’re going to have to play great defense.
“We need to play great defense early while finding our offensive identity.”
Leading the charge up front will be 6-foot-4-inch, 260-pound senior offensive tackle TJ Stackpole.
“He’s a three-year starter for us and he’s the most experienced we have,” Czarneck said. “So he’s going to anchor that line.”
Another piece that will aide Trenton’s running game is 6-foot-3-inch, 350-pound senior guard, Justin Youngert.
In past years Trenton has runs diversified offense, sometimes leaning heavily on the pass.
With the graduation loss of starting quarterback Chad Hamilton, leading receiver Jason Barbosa and dual-threat running back Mike Czarnecki, Trenton to going back to basics this year.
“We’re going to try to run the football,” Czarnecki repeated.
Defensively, the Trojans will get a big boost from returning two-year starter Sam Cappuccilli.
The 5-foot-11-inch, 185-pound defensive tackle is a huge presence on the field.
“He’s the motor of our defense,” Czarnecki said. “He’s continually going full out.”
Shoring up the linebacker positions will be 5-foot-11-inch, 200-pound junior Jacob Walsh and 6-foot-1-inch, 215-pound senior David Duclo.
Leading the way at defensive end will be 5-foot-11-inch, 195-pound senior Eric Sczepaniak and 6-foot-3-inch, 200-pound senior Tyler Purcell.
Adding depth to the Trojans’ roster are returning seniors Allen Bonds, Dan Mercure, Garrett Vandenberg and Justin Chaplin and junior Chase Abraham.
These experienced players will have to shoulder a heavy share of the burden for Trenton, at least in the early going.
“Until we can catch up, we’re going to have to hang onto some veteran leadership,” Czarnecki said.
“It depends on how quickly we mature on both sides of the ball.
“We, like any other team, have got to have our seniors lead and we just have to grow up quickly, because it’s not easy.”
Trenton opens the season at home Friday against Truman.
This game will be the first “Game of the Week” streamed on the News-Herald’s high school sports website, MiPreps.com.
Two of Trenton’s first three games are at home this season, but four of the final six are on the road.