FNF Preview: 2017 Windthorst Trojans

WINDTHORST - Windthorst head coach Chris Tackett was coaching football before his players were born.

"He's kind of like our dad he takes care of us, he treats us like a son, all of us," said left guard Brayden Armstrong. "He's got his own relationship with each one of us and we love to him to death. He's strong, he's mean when he needs to be mean and he get's the job done."

And by "the job," he means winning.

The Trojans are coming off an 8-5 season ending in the Regional Semifinals, after going undefeated in district play.

"We had some injuries early," Tackett said. "We played a real tough pre-district schedule, but I think that got us ready for our games in district and then for our playoff games. So I mean, I was happy about it. Everybody wants to win every game but sometimes that doesn't happen and it was good competition that we lost to."

"We made it a lot farther then a lot of people thought we were going to it, beat a lot of people that we thought we were going to," said left tackle Ace Hand. "The only thing about last year is that I feel like we could've blocked a little better on the line. I mean we did a good job. We should've been able to do a lot better."

The Trojans have 14 seniors returning, including Koy Pennartz who rushed for nearly 1100 yards and 10 touchdowns. And junior Hunter Wolf, who passed for over 2000 yards and 20 scores.

Coach Tackett is emphasizing ball control to his skill position players heading into the season.

"We would have a good drive and turn the ball over or just not make the first down and I think that's one of the things that really helped us at the end of the year," said Tackett. "We started converting downs, we started taking care of the football. We kind of go that turnover ratio back in our favor and that really helped us. That's one key to the season year was eliminating turnovers."

Helping create turnovers is All-State defensive lineman Curtis Hulse. He returns after forcing six fumbles, blocking three punts and racking up 130 tackles and 6 sacks.

One thing the Trojans won't have to work on, being a family.

"I think it's the pride that we take in the school," said Hand. "We're very proud of what we do and we try to do our best in everything."

"We play with more heart," Armstrong said. "We don't go by on looks. We play from the inside."

"Guys around here work hard and they play hard, and I'm proud to be a part of it," said Tackett.

Windthorst takes on the Henrietta Bearcats at home in their first game of the season. It's a 7 o'clock kickoff at Trojan Field. Henrietta won this matchup last year 44-23.


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