The Southern Coffey County Titans will look to improve upon their 6-4 record that they enjoyed during Head Coach Trevor Smith’s first year a year ago. The Titans enjoyed one of their best years in recent memory, picking up a playoff win for the first time since 2004. Their victory over Wakefield, 60-14, was only the program’s second playoff victory since the communities of Gridley and Leroy consolidated in 2002.
SCC to find success in 2019 they will have to turn to players with minimal varsity experience. Kolgan Ohl, Jett Harvey, Hunter Loveall, Dawson Leimkuhler, Brett Stout, and Trenton Yoho have all moved over to the other side of the fence. Leimkuhler found the endzone 29 times on the ground en route to 1,631 yards rushing a year ago. Harvey enjoyed an all-league selection at quarterback passing for 1050 yards. His top receiver Ohl enjoyed first-team league honors hauling in 37 receptions for 775 yards.
The loss of production offensively will be tough to replace, but the graduation loss is also felt on defense as both Keimkuhler and Ohl lead the team in tackles. The defensive unit allowed 28 points per game in 2018.
Senior Cooper Harred will be tasked in filling the void left by his former teammates. Harred was a first-team all-league selection at defensive end, where he led the team in sacks with four. He will also fill the void in the backfield. In a limited role last year, he rushed for 266 yards.
The Titans avoid defending Lyon County League champion Madison and breakout candidate Lebo for the second year in a row. SCC was predicted to finish at the bottom of the league according to fellow coaches in the SEK-sports coaches poll. LCL play kicks off week one for SCC as they host Burlingame.
The Titans might take their licks during the first three weeks of the season but if a young team can find their footing come district play, look for them to have another birth in the 8-man DII playoff. SCC finished runner-up to St. Paul a year ago in District 1. Outside of perennial state power St. Paul the rest of the district enters 2019 with plenty of question marks. Marmaton Valley, Colony-Crest, Chetopa, and Altoona-Midway combined for a record of 7-28 a year ago.
We had an opportunity to speak with Coach Smith about the upcoming season.
SEK-sports.com: Being a former Titan, how proud are you to have to chance to lead this program?
Trevor Smith: Being able to come back to the Titans for my second year obviously means a lot to me. Who I am today was shaped by this school and community. This is my way of giving back and hopefully making an impact on the students and players, just like my coaches and teachers did back in the day.
SEKS: Your first year of coaching saw the Titans reach the playoffs for the first time since 2014. SCC earned only their second playoff victory since consolidation with the win over Wakefield. How important was that in jump-starting your coaching career?
TS: That was very important for our team. The buzz and excitement in our school after the victory was second to none. We had more confidence than ever before. I believe that winning that game made some prospective players excited about being a part of our future. Now we just have to keep improving as a team to have another opportunity to do the same this year.
SEKS: What are some goals for 2019?
TS: Dealing with adversity, positive attitude, winning the battle at your position, and improve each and every day. These goals are obtainable on a daily basis, and our vital for our success both on and off the field.
SEKS: Largest obstacle to overcome this season?
TS: Our size, lack of returning players, and our age. However, I believe with the group of kids, we will be able to overcome these.
SEKS: Biggest strength in 2019?
TS: We have players that are wanting to play and have been itching to get back at it. Senior Cooper Harred and Junior Adam Emmons are great leaders and will get the rest of the team to rally around them.
SEKS: Individuals that stood out during summer camp/workout programs?
TS: Aiden Voorhees was in the weight room almost every day. Wade Glue put on some more size by living in the weight room. Cooper Harred leadership qualities had him organizing 7 on 7 games during the week, which has helped the team get in shape heading into fall practice.
SEKS: Game on the schedule you are most looking forward to?
TS: All of them!
SEKS: What will define 2019 as a successful season?
TS: A successful season will have us expanding our football knowledge, how we deal with adversity and working together as a unit, rather as individuals. In this game, if one player does not do their job, we fail. No matter what our record ends up being this year, we are able to obtain those two things, it will set us up for success in the future. We will have to take our shots and make adjustments to get better each and every day.
Good luck to Coach Smith and the Titans in 2019! Stay up to date with SCC football all season long by finding articles and score updates on their team page.