Hillsboro is looking to get back into the playoffs in head coach Devin Metzinger’s third year leading the football team.
The Trojans bring back some key players in 2018, such as senior Wide Receiver Darin Ratzlaff, who was second team all Central Kansas League last year. With him, and guys such as Brooks Gardener (senior RB/LB), Caleb Potucek (junior, WR/DB), Josiah Driggers (senior, WR/DB), Wes Shaw (senior, OL/DL), and returning from injury, Jorge Hanschu (QB/DB), Hillsboro looks to have plenty of athletes to compete.
“We have a number of athletes at the skill positions and some that can be big time game changers for us so long as we care able to get them into space to show their athleticism,” Metzinger said.
Finding that space will come against several new teams for Hillsboro, who has schools such as Wabaunsee, Bluestem, and Olpe on their schedule this year.
“We are excited to see what we can do with the new schedule this year and competing against teams that we haven’t seen in a few years or have never faced at all,” Metzinger said. “I think it brings a lot of excitement to the schedule when you get to go out and play new teams like this.”
One of the key challenges for the team will be finding the five guys to play offensive line and defensive line, according to Metzinger.
“Without those five, it is going to be very hard for us to find success,” he said. “We have a few returning upperclassman that can fill some spot,s but it is going to take all five spots if we want to be successful.”
As for goals for the season, Metzinger said Hillsboro needs to just take each game as it comes and be ready for week nine (the playoffs) when it gets there.
“Of course, we are looking to have a winning season and make the playoffs, but we push the players every week that we want to see improvement,” he said.
Hillsboro opens the season on the road against Hesston on Friday, Aug. 31, at 7 p.m. They won’t be home until week three, when they face off against the Wildcats from Haven High School on Friday, Sept. 14, at 7 p.m.