First-year Erie Red Devil head coach Eddie Kearns is inheriting a program that is 7-20 in the prior three seasons, but is no stranger to the group of players he has out this season.
“I coached most of them in middle school. New system on defense and offense and new excitement in coachings staff.” said Kearns.
Erie was outscored 121-256 in the 9 games last year, including shutout in 3 games. Kearns noted one of his goals for this year’s team, however, is to continue to have his players believe in themselves.
“We got down when the breaks didn’t go our way.”
Erie will be led by a trio of returning starting seniors. 6’2″ 155lbs. quarterback Matt Vail will be the signal caller for the Multiple Red Devil offense. He would be protected by senior offensive lineman Caype Johnson, who stands at 6’3″ and checks in at 300 lbs., and 6’4″ 250lbs. Derick Wallace.
The Red Devils will also have some youth in Tanner Smith and Arren Babcock protecting upfront.
The skillset will return players with experience and could be the foundation for the Erie program to build towards the future. The group includes four juniors in running backs Dawson Lehman, 6’2″ 170lbs., and Tyler Pasquarelli, 6′ 170lbs.,, wide receiver Tyler Duling and 6’1″ tightend Brett Tromsness. Three sophomores will also factor into the backfield with 6’3″ Garrett Ruark, 5’11” Caden Eads, and Grant Taylor.
“I believe the hard work from teh summer and through the season will show up on Friday nights and we will have a great season.”
Erie will have to contend with Humboldt and Jayhawk-Linn for a potential home playoff game, but cannot overlook Riverton, an improved Southeast Lancer team and scrappy Northeast-Arma team in their district.
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