BRASHER FALLS — The St. Lawrence Central football team will look to use disappointment as motivation for improvement heading into this season.
“Last year was very tough. We had a lot of injuries and never really had chance to gel as a team. It was just one of those seasons where we expected more and didn’t get it,” said coach Bruce Truax as the Larries work toward bouncing back from the 1-7 record they posted last fall.
“We’ve got 20 kids back and they do have a bit of chip on their shoulder because of how things wound up going last year. They saw how important it was for everyone to be focused each and every play. That’s one of the areas they’ve been working really hard on improving,” he added.
Truax enters his fifth season at the SLC helm with a lineup of more than 30 players but only a handful of returnees with varsity starting experience.
“We have a lot of spots from last year that are open and there’s a lot of competition between kids fighting for roles,” he said.
Senior Ansen Weegar is expected to reprise his role as starting quarterback. Seniors Ethan LaRock, Torran Robertson and Ryan LaPage return along with junior Hunter Arquiett to give the Larries a capable nucleus of running backs. Newcomers expected to make an impact at fullback include sophomore Earl Kearney and freshman Xavier Shattuck while sophomore Jayden Ashley will serve as back-up to Weegar.
“We do have some depth at running back but it’s a question right now of who is going to step up for us,” Truax said.
Leading the way up front for the Larries are fourth-year senior Cash Feeley and classmate Ryen Cox, who is entering his third season working the front line. Senior Dakota Lemaster is expected to see time at center along with first-year junior Robert Clark while junior newcomer Rotonhnahere Silver is showing promise at guard.
“We are doing some rebuilding on the line,” Truax noted. “But we’re really happy with the way they’re working as a group.”
The SLC receiving corps is led by returning senior wide receivers Zack Dumers and Tyson Preve along with senior tight end Steven Horner. First-year wideouts expected to contribute to the passing game are senior Jarret Hilaire, junior John Guiney and sophomore Caleb Fludd, while first-year senior Noah Adams should see time at tight end.
“We have a lot of new kids so we’re doing a lot of teaching along with doing a lot of coaching,” Truax said. “The potential is definitely there. We just need to find the best way to make it work for us.”
The Larries are slated to open the 2019 NAC season at Potsdam on Sept. 6, before returning home to christen the newly renovated Randy Riggs Field against OFA the following Friday night.
“The new field is beautiful and the kids are really excited about playing on it,” Truax said. “The atmosphere for that first home game is going to be great.”
The Larries will compete in Class C for the Section 10 playoffs along with Ogdensburg Free Academy and Gouverneur.