Photo By Patty Theurer - #23 Coby Williams
Written By: Sven Alskog
There is not much question that New Plymouth experienced about as much roster turnover as anyone in the 2A ranks from a season ago, which means the Pilgrims will be expecting those that do return to step up in a big way, in addition to major contributions from newcomers.
Many of the critical to replace losses come on the offensive side of the ball, including lineman Nick Woods and running back Seth Mowder.
“After losing a lot from last year’s team, we will need to be able to adjust our offense to the strengths of our new team. Getting the ball in the hands of playmakers Derek Hampton and Erin Vian on the outside and getting the running game of Cooper Wilson and Coby Williams going will be key,” said head coach Dallan Rupp.
Expect a different style as well.
“We will be looking to be more productive in the passing game to balance out our offense this year. It will be more of a finesse team - more balanced and more aggressive to keep the opponent guessing,” added Rupp.
Vian is one of the newcomers that the coach is most excited about, with multiple other pieces ready to step up as well.
“Erin Vian has come in new to our school and filled in to positions that he was not used to at his previous school. Josiah and Joel Campbell are brothers who filled in at times last year on our offensive and defensive lines and did a tremendous job. They are ready for full-time roles.”
Defense was a strength for the Pilgrims in games that they won last year, holding opponents to under eight points per game in victories. In four losses, New Plymouth allowed 43.5 points per contest.
The linebacker unit will play a pivotal role in the success of the defense.
“Staying strong in the middle of the defense and forcing other teams outside will be the key. Coby Williams and Derek Hampton have an ability to track down ballcarriers, but we will need our front line to hold their ground freeing up Coby and Derek,” said Rupp.
All-Conference lineman Jace Watson is a returner who will help anchor the line on each side of the ball.
With so much new in place for New Plymouth, the enthusiasm is high for the head coach to see what the new pieces are able to accomplish.
“It is exciting each year to see a team come together and play for each other.”
The season for the Pilgrims starts on August 30 against Homedale.