By Ben Murphy
First year Farwell football coach Ben Bryant isn’t letting the fact that he takes over a team that is coming off three straight losing seasons get to him.
“We’re going for a total turnaround from what the program has been,” he said. “We’re going to start fresh with a new attitude towards everything.”
Returning from last year’s team that went 1-8 overall and 0-7 in the Jack Pine Conference are seniors Trent Johns (tackle) Noah Wilson (running back, linebacker), Deric Szafranski (running back, defensive end), along with juniors Shane Wiley (guard, defensive end) and Jordan Green.
“We’ve got a young team,” Bryant said. “The majority of them are juniors that are first year players. We are implementing a new offense (pistol formation) and brand new defense (4-3) so there’s lots of learning to do also.”
New to the team are seniors Austin Lalone (wide receiver, defensive back), Austin Hawley (offensive, defensive line), Cameron Disbrow (wide receiver, defensive back), Nate Thrush (offensive, defensive line), juniors Justin Norbury (wide receiver, defensive back), Jake Risse (wide receiver, defensive back), Brenden Smith (running back, corner back), Brenden Buccilli (wide receiver, safety), Garrett Mcquiston (linebacker, offensive line), Austin Maxey (quarterback, defensive back), Jarred Stiglich (offensive, defensive line), Lucas Buccilli (running back, linebacker) and Damon Scheidt (running back, linebacker).
“Maxey, Lucas Buccilli, Wilson, Wiley and Johns, those will be most of our big players,” Bryant said. “We have quite a few kids that have worked very hard in the weight room, getting faster and getting their bodies to where they need to be. The work that they put in this summer will show up on the field.”
Bryant is hoping to gain the majority of their offensive yards on the ground.
“Offensively, we’re going to run the ball,” he said. “We run first, run second and pass third. We’re definitely a run oriented team.”
The Eagles will also hope to end a 15-game conference losing streak this year.
“I think we should be able to play with anybody in the conference,” Bryant said. “I think the league should be more balanced this year than it has been in a lot of years.”
Farwell opens the season at home on Thursday, Aug. 28 against Coleman in a non-league game. The Comets won last year’s week one meeting 36-19, jump starting them to a playoff appearance and 7-3 record.
“They have a kid that can throw the ball pretty well,” Bryant said. “They had a lot of yards through the air last year and they’re going to try it again this year, so we have to put a stop to the pass game.”