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Hartford Looks To Keep Growing Pains In The Rear View Mirror

Hartford Looks To Keep Growing Pains In The Rear View Mirror

2019 saw the Hartford football team finish 3-6, but despite the losing record landed a spot in the 8M-D2 playoffs. It marked just the third time in program history to earn back-to-back appearances.

2020 will have the Jaguars looking for a third straight appearance, a first for the program.

Colten Barrett enters his fourth year at the helm with a record of 8-19. The majority of positions were filled by underclassmen, and at times the inexperience showed for the Jaguars.

“We had an up and down year, I feel like we didn’t play as well as our talent should have allowed us,” stated Barrett. “We had some growing pains throughout the season, and we are looking to turn those into positives heading into this season.”

Leading the way for the Hartford football team is Sophomore Ali Smith. Smith passed for nearly 1000 yards and 16TD’s as a freshman quarterback.

The sophomore quarterbacks key weapons on offense include junior Shayden Sull, who surpassed over 1600 yards of total offense to go along with 31 TD’s. Senior Andrew McDiffet led the team in receiving with 544 yards and 6 TD’s in 2019.

In the trenches, seniors Kristian Trujillo, Andy Andrews, and junior Aiden Goodman make up one of the most daunting offensive lines in the classifications.

Defensively, the Jaguars return all eight starters from a year ago.

The unit has much to improve upon after surrendering an average of 50 points a game. Sophomore Tyler Stuck returns at linebacker, leading the team with two sacks.

Coach Barrett will find out early in 2020 if his team has taken the next step. The Hartford football team’s first month of competition includes teams with a winning record a year ago.

Jaguars kicks things off with Maranatha(7-3), followed by Madison(11-1), Burlingame(5-4), and Lebo(7-3).

The Jaguars round out district play with Rural Vista, Wakefield, MDCV, and Centre-Lost Springs.

Hartford faced each of these teams with victories over Rural Vista(90-60) along with Wakefield(36-32). Hartford narrowly missed a victory over MDCV(50-52) and was shut out to Centre-Lost Springs(0-50).

“Turnover margin will be key to us this season. Limiting our turnovers and taking the ball away on defensive will be the key to our success this year,” said Barrett.

(Keep up with Hartford Football this season on the Eastern Kansas Sports Football section)

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