Fresh Minutemen Battling For Starting Roles

  • 8/7/2017 10:03:26 PM
  • Brian Skowronski
  • Local Sports

LEXINGTON, OH- Having a senior laden roster is usually a desire shared by most high school football coaches. That is until those players graduate and leave gaping holes in their starting lineups.

For Lexington head football coach Taylor Gerhardt, that is the scenario at hand after graduating 18 players from last years regional finalist team. The departure of so many talented players has left several vacancies on both sides of the ball which in turn has sparked position battles amongst first-time varsity players all over the field.

"We're still battling for positions," senior linebacker Devon Stroud says. "There's nothing concrete yet, but everyone's been working hard to get to their position."

Stroud adds that practices are "always competitive" at Lexington and that "everyone's trying to get everyone's spot but the guys that stand out the most, they play the most."

Although the competition to earn more playing time come the start of the season has provided a heightened intensity at practice, the inexperience of the roster can become apparent at times.

"It definitely shows sometimes," senior linebacker Zac Cartee says of the team's lack of experience. He adds, though, "I definitely think that with everyone here throughout August that we could be something special this year."

During the Minutemen's 9-4 campaign in 2016, it was a rock solid defense which allowed just 14.9 ppg that helped carry the program to their first regional title game appearance. Cartee says Gerhardt is once again putting significant focus on the defensive unit to lead the charge.

"He says every day that, "Lexington plays football and Lexington plays defense," says Cartee. "I definitely think that when we go defense in practice every day that there's definitely a little bit more intensity."

On the other side of the ball, only junior standout Cade Stover returns at the skill positions. He has switched from wide receiver to quarterback this year, though, and is competing against fellow junior Jacob Depperschmidt for the starting role.

"It was a little intimidating at first," Depperschmidt says about competing against a D1 prospect like Stover. "We've been friends for a long time so it's kind of been a little bit different I guess, but at the end of the day it's a competition and the best man's gonna win so we'll see what happens."

Depperschmidt is trying to learn how to be a signal caller after two years away from the position but feels he's starting to get a grasp on the playbook and the footwork. After the team scrimmages this weekend and again next week the QB battle and likely each open starting position on the field will be settled as the Minutemen work towards a date with Richland County rival Ontario in the season opener on August 25.     

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