The Andover Trojans spent the 2017 season getting acclimated with one another.
They had a new coach in Cade Armstrong, who came over from Derby and had a new man under center in Eli Fahnestock, who led the Trojans spread offense to a 5-5 record. Andover would lose in the first round of the playoffs to Goddard.
Several players say that loss was a reality check for them.
In year two under Armstrong, the team is looking to grow and improve.
Ten seniors are returning, including Alex Jones, considered the quarterback on defense. Armstrong says he has four more seniors coming back on the offensive line.
Other than that, Armstrong says his team will be relying on the younger guys.
He says running back Peyton Henry split carries last year, but will now be the featured back.
He’s hoping with one year already under his belt that his sophomore quarterback, Fahnestock can continue to get better.
“We throw these kids in the fire, but I tell you they’ve responded tremendously, I believe these young kids that we are throwing in there are going to be ready or we wouldn’t do it, you know, when they kind of come in and we throw them in there with seniors and juniors, they grow up fast, they kind of have to,” said Armstrong.
Henry, who will be a junior this year, echoed the sentiment of his coach.
“We need some of the younger guys to step up, but those ten seniors are very good ten seniors and they’ve came up to the occasion and lead everyone and we are taking it head on,” said Henry.
As for Fahnestock, after starting on varsity as a freshman, he’s looking forward to what this year will bring.
“Coach Armstrong has helped me out and all the coaches really have been with me and helped me through the process, because they know that I’m young and still have a ton to learn, its great to have this coaching staff help me out and teammates as well,” said Fahnestock.
Andover will open their season on Friday when they play host to Great Bend.