With a speedy, athletic group returning for the 2020 season, Erie High School football head coach Eddie Kearns is optimistic his team will improve on the 3-6 season.
“Our team will have a very good core of returners for this season,” said Kearns.
“We have a challenging schedule this year so we (will) have to be ready to play every week.”
The Red Devils offense last year put up an average of 19 points per game.
With a year of experience in the new offense returning, Kearns expects more offensive output.
“The biggest challenge from last year was we had some injuries to key starters early in the season,” noted Kearns.
“Also, learning the new systems took longer due to the weather and the injuries.”
Leading the way for the Red Devils is a pair of senior running backs, Dawson Lehman and Tyler Pasquarelli.
The seniors recorded 733 yards and 14 touchdowns and 472 yards and 5 touchdowns, respectively.
The Red Devils will rely on Lehman’s, Pasquarelli’s, and overall team’s ability to make up for lack of size.
“With those that graduated, we lost our size on the offensive and defensive lines,” commented Kearns.
“We are going to have to rely on our speed and athleticism.”
Players that look to be a factor for Erie this year include 5’9″ senior Tyler Duling and juniors Garrett Ruark, listed at 6’1″ 178 lbs.
Caden Eads, who will start his junior campaign at 6’2″ 186 lbs., will also play a role for Erie football.
On the front lines will be 5’8″ 200 lbs. senior Aaren Babcock, and the towering figures of juniors Eric Dillinger, Brett Tromsness, and Tanner Smith.
The three, respectively, are listed at 6’6″, 6’1″, and 6’3″.
In addition to the lack of physical size, the district schedule is once again a grind.
The Red Devils will play 4 of their 5 district games at home: Southeast-Cherokee, Riverton, St. Mary’s Colgan, and Neodesha. Their lone district road game will be Fredonia for 2020.
“We are returning several starters on both sides of the ball. Our kids have a hard work ethic with a desire to prove themselves.”
The Red Devils open the season on the road against Cherryvale, who will be under the direction of 1st-year head coach Travis Young.