The Windthorst Trojans have made the playoffs 19 out of the last 20 seasons. In head coach Chris Tackett's 17 years of coaching the Trojans, his team's missing playoffs just once. So if there's one thing the Trojans are used to. It's high expectations. Coming off a first round playoff loss to Anson last year. The Trojans have a chance to make a statement in the first game of the season. Windthorst set to meet the defending state champion Munday Moguls in the first game of the year.
A single touchdown separated the Windthorst Trojans from moving on past the bi district round of the playoffs last year. Anson scoring on a long pass in the 4th quarter to end the Trojans season. One of the deciding factors in that playoff game was the number of injured Trojans forced to sit on the sidelines. But the saying goes you can gain more from a loss than a win, and head coach Chris Tackett says that is the case with this year's squad, "we had a lot of young kids coming up and think that game strengthened their resolve as far as how they needed to work because we were really close and the injuries just really took a bite out of us last year and even during the playoff game we lost a couple key players. We played so close to them even with the injuries. With everyone healthy this year we might go a couple more rounds."
Back for the Trojans are some key pieces that will fit into their more spread heavy offense this year. Wide receiver Hayden Hoffman will be a big target on the outside for junior quarterback chandler king, who comes into this year after taking over under center halfway through last season. King till finishing the year with 5 rushing td's to go along with 6 passing td's and 720 yards through the air. Coach Tackett saying King will be a big asset, "we expect good things from him. He kind of got thrown in the fire as a sophomore last year, coming in mid season. He's a student of the game. He's smart. He utilizes his athletic ability, he's a great guy to have under center."
A big loss on the line for Windthorst was senior Derek Mankins. Who will be attending MSU this year. Quarterback chandler king saying the burden is going to fall on the entire offensive line to pick up the slack, "he was an amazing player. We have a lot of good players coming back. I feel pretty confident with the people that i have still."
Senior Heath Berend is one of the lineman that will have to adjust, "this year's team is a little different. We're going to have to focus on everyone doing their job. We're not going to have a big line just powering through gaining 3 yards every play. Everybody has to do the right thing every play."
With the athletes that Windthorst has this year, and the Trojans focusing on running the spread mixed in with their wishbone packages, King says he's going to have to depend on his play makers, "i think the offense works to the advantages of the players we have. It gives us a lot of options to get our guys going. It gives them a chance to just be athletes."
The Trojans start the season at home with defending state champ Munday, then take on the Holliday Eagles in Windthorst in week two, before going on the for three games.. when you ask Coach Tackett how he's preparing for the Moguls in week one, he says his team knows no matter who they line up against on any given Friday, the preparation is the same. And most importantly, they'll be ready.