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Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 24, 2017

Trojan football finishes season with banquet

By Justin Webster,Ledger sports editor | Nov 03, 2017
Photo by: JUSTIN WEBSTER/Ledger photo Head Coach Matt Jones talks about the Class of ‘18 seniors at the annual football family banquet Thursday night at the middle school.

Head football coach Matt Jones and his staff hosted the 2017 Fairfield Trojans and their families for the team’s annual banquet Thursday night in the middle school cafetorium.

Dozens attended the pot luck style event that featured highlight videos, thank you’s to various community members and organizations for their support of the program, and an awards ceremony as well.

The 26 student-athletes awarded varsity letters for their efforts this season were: Brittan Bowman, Collin Breen, Carson Crile, Cole Engle, Carter Ferrel, Leone Gichure, Aaron Haines, Steeler Higdon, Gage Hook, Hunter Hoskins, Caden Jones, Xavier Kapijimpanga, Reese Klehm, Ashton Lankford, Elan Ledger, Cade Lisk, Brendon Lunsford, Drew Martin, Sam Mattson, Nic Schillerstrom, Saban Simons, Austin Simpson, Noah Stone, Max Sullivan, Tristin Waugh and Jackson Weaton. 19 of these Trojans will return next year.

Three managers also earned letters for football. They were Blu Schultz, Ashley Bloomquist and Malory Jones.

 

All district players

Seven Trojans were honored by the state as members of the Class 3A-5 all-district team.

Second team selections were: Hunter Hoskins, Steeler Higdon, Drew Martin and Cole Engle.

First team selections were Austin Simpson, Tristin Waugh and Brendon Lunsford.

 

Academic all-district honorees had to be a junior or senior with a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher.

Brittan Bowman, Carson Crile, Aaron Haines, Steeler Higdon, Hunter Hoskins, Caden Jones, Sam Mattson and Jackson Weaton received this recognition as well all three managers, Ashley Bloomquist, Malory Jones and Blu Schultz.

 

As for team awards, Coach Jones and his staff announced the following:

Duke Bisbey Senior Leadership: Brendon Lunsford

Mark Campbell Offensive Lineman: Austin Simpson

Brad Wickliff Memorial Attitude Award: Saban Simons

Team MVP: Tristin Waugh

 

Q) Thoughts on your first year Coach Jones?

A) Honestly, I expected to have a better win/loss record, but we had some unfortunate things happen throughout the year with injuries which made us pretty thin. We also only had seven seniors, so we have a lot of guys coming back next year. Even when we were 2-6, we still had guys going hard and talking about finishing strong and laying it all on the line for our seniors. I appreciate the seniors taking me in and doing what we asked them to do.

 

Q) What are you hoping to improve with your staff for 2018?

A) Our coaching staff has to grow, too. It’s really important because it’s their first year working with me. I worked with a lot of those guys in 2009 when I was here as an assistant. We need to work on our teaching of fundamentals and our use of drills that directly relate to our schemes, so we’re going to go to some clinics as a staff. We’re going to try to get better.

I got the job in May so we didn’t have a lot of time, but we think that with a full year, we can bring these guys together with an iron-sharpens-iron type of mentality.

I also hope the students go play basketball or wrestle, then go run track or play soccer, play golf or tennis or something like that and then we can continue to come together in our off-season, because that’s really where you earn it. That’s when the good teams earn it anyway.

 

Q) How has the community support been in 2017?

A) We have a phenomenal community that cares about football. I wanted to start a program where our kids got fed on Friday, and of course continue our Thursday night togetherness. Hy-Vee gave us a great deal and we had nine different businesses writing us checks to feed the team before games on Fridays. I had so many people tell me when I got the job, “Hey, I’m glad you got the job,” and my response was, “I hope you still feel that way in October,” because it’s a grind for sure and you never know how things are going to shake out.

The kids have to get used to me and I have to get used to them. We have to build relationships with each other, develop trust and that certainly takes time. Even after a struggle of a season, a lot of people said that they believe in process which is always encouraging. We know it takes time, but we want to get better as well.

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