POTOSI – Ed Haar claimed the position as head coach of the Potosi football team last offseason, and has a bright outlook for his first year leading the program.
“I am really excited for this opportunity, and want to see what this team can do in the future,” he said.
Haar was promoted following the departure of Mark Casey, who took an assistant role at Central. Casey finished his nine-year stint as head coach at Potosi with a 54-43 record, which is the second most wins in school history just behind the 55 by Mike Thebeau.
The Trojans went 5-6 last year while plagued by injuries, including a 21-7 semifinal defeat to Central in the district playoffs.
The six-man coaching staff brings back all familiar faces for the 2017 season with Aaron Urich, David Leeds, Harry Thurmond, Jordan Pannett and Dylan Wyrick serving as assistants.
However, the roster contains few returning pieces on either side of the ball. Multiple key contributors graduated with several continuing their athletic careers.
All-State lineman Ethan Roland progressed to the collegiate level at Missouri Valley after posting 72 tackles with five sacks in the 2016 season. Fellow linemen Gabe Smith and Dylan Wright have also moved on along with college baseball players Zach Price and Tristan Brown.
Jake Casey emerged as a standout performer, but has transferred to join his father at Central. Starting quarterback Noah Jacobsen decided to sacrifice his junior season of football, and underwent shoulder surgery earlier this spring to benefit his baseball career.
Casey led the team in receiving yards, while Jacobsen paced the offense with seven passing touchdowns and 721 yards through as sophomores.
Haar stated that the Trojans will rely on a young core for success this season.
“We have a lot in the sophomore class who will be contributing on Friday nights… We are looking to fill several spots on the offensive and defensive lines.”
“A strength we have is that we have a lot of kids rotating in and out, which should keep us fresh over the opponent in the game,” he added.
Demond Guthrie returns as a sophomore with promising features at tailback. He finished third in varsity rushing yards last season behind Kyle Allison and Price.
Senior Colin Govero brings experience and talent on defense after notching a team-high 91 total tackles plus three interceptions at linebacker last season. Fellow senior Brendan Hovis is back after pacing the Trojans with four interceptions.
Senior Kobe Boyer has the only substantial varsity experience along either line.
According to Haar, the one thing the team needs to improve upon most is ball control.
“We definitely need to manage the clock better and limit turnovers,” he said. “Those were both issues last season and have been major points in practice so far.”
Potosi has also been turning its focus to game-time situations during practice. They move to the game field late in evenings to run through drills under the big lights.
“Everyone has been working hard. The attendance has been great,” stated Haar about the encouraging preseason.
Potosi opens the season at Owensville for the first time since 2011. MAFC White Division play begins in week 3 as Central visits.