Published Thu, Aug 18, 2011 8:04 pm Dateline
After a disappointing 3-7 season in 2010, the Portsmouth Trojans are looking to make a name for themselves in a tough SEOAL behind a strong staff of returning players. “It was a disappointing season. We just didn't do things we needed to do to win ballgames,” head coach Curt Clifford said. “I think we had an emotional bunch of men last year and instead of using that emotion when they were down to rally they got down. And when they were down they had a hard time getting back up.”
With a tough schedule including conference foes Jackson, Gallia Academy, and Logan including out of league games against Wilmington and Ironton, Coach Clifford and the Trojans know what it takes to compete against the best. “Our league is so physically tough, and our non-league is tough,” Clifford said. “It's pretty much the same thing for us every year: Go play as hard as you can for as long as you possibly can play and we'll take a look at the scoreboard when the game is over.” To rebound from last season, the Trojans will be relying on key returning players to get the job done. The strength of the Trojans lies in their offensive and defensive front, lead by J.W. Horsley, Ronnie Truman and Dion McKinley.
Horsley has started on the O-line since his sophomore year and will anchor the line this season at center along side Kyle Ratcliff and Tyler Scott. Truman and McKinley will provide defensive pressure from the end spots and will be sandwiched by Arrick Montgomery at tackle. The offense will be lead by Mason Jordan at quarterback. Last season, Jordan replaced an injured Josh Meyers in six games throwing for 1,100 yards and 15 touchdowns earning Special-Mention All-Ohio. Jordan will share the backfield with Duke Edwards, a big punishing running back and will have weapons like tight end Austin Porter and L.J. Adams and Wayne Evans at receiver.
Defensively, Horsley will move off of the defensive line to play middle linebacker where he will be teamed up with Levi Hall who made considerable contributions as a sophomore last season. Evans, Adams and Jordan highlight the Trojans’ secondary. With players who have had significant varsity experience, Coach Clifford is optimistic of his team this season. “I would hope we can get back to what we've always prided ourselves on and that's playing as hard as we can every game,” Clifford said.“We talked to the guys about being positive and not worrying about the things they can't control and just go out and play as hard as they can possibly can so that win or lose you have no regrets.”
Key Losses: Josh Meyers (QB), Angelo Jackson (RB), Kyle Simpson (WR), Jonathan Royster (WR)
Key Returners: Wayne Evans (WR/DB), Mason Jordan (QB/DB), Austin Porter (TE/LB), J.W. Horsley (OL/LB)
Who To Watch: DT Arrick Montgomery - “Montgomery is an unproven quantity. He's a mentally and physically tough guy. He's going to get by just on his toughness. He's one of those kinds of guys you're going to have to fight him the whole ballgame because he's not going to go away.”- Clifford