By KRIS MILLS – firstname.lastname@example.org
We are inching closer to another high school football season.
Shelbyville begins its campaign on the road at Greensburg on Aug. 23. Triton Central also opens on the road with a trip to Cascade. Scrimmages for both teams will be on Aug. 16.
After speaking with SHS head coach Mike Clevenger and TC head coach Tim Able, here are 10 players (five from each school) to watch this upcoming season:
Luke Hornung, SR., TC, 6-2 230
Hornung, a versatile senior, will play multiple positions for the Tigers this season. A college prospect, Hornung will play tight end and halfback on offense and on the defensive line and at outside linebacker on defense. Able said he has lost weight to gain more speed, as well, which should only increase his production. Hornung has soft hands and is finally healthy after an injury last season. Even with an injury, he still managed to finish with 57 tackles. Hornung should form a strong 1-2 punch with TC quarterback Erick Hebauf.
Riley Stevens, SR., SHS, 6-0 175
Stevens started last season at wide receiver before an injury to Shelbyville’s starting quarterback, Landon Watson. Now, after limited action as a junior at the position, Stevens will man the quarterback duties in his final high school campaign. With a full offseason under his belt, Stevens should have better control of the offense. He has speed and is a determined worker. It will be interesting to see how Clevenger, in his second season, uses the senior.
Hayden Kermode, JR., TC, 5-10 200
The younger Kermode brother, Hayden will again be a large part of what the Tigers do on both sides of the ball. As a fullback on offense, he will use his size and athleticism to clear space for his brother, Keaton, and senior running back Joshua Thacker, among others. On defense, Hayden will be one of two inside linebackers. Last season, Hayden led the team with 89 tackles. He also finished with 146 receiving yards and one score.
Jett Kolls, JR., SHS, 6-2 200
Kolls could turn into a really nice player for Shelbyville. With a season under his belt at linebacker, the junior should see his production increase, especially after a full summer to work with Clevenger and other SHS coaches. Kolls has good vision, can cover ground and has shown the ability to drop back and defend an opposing aerial attack. Clevenger said he will also play fullback this season. Last season, Kolls led SHS with 42 tackles.
Collin Miltz, SR., SHS, 5-8 155
With his wheels, Miltz is a touchdown waiting to happen. Last season, Miltz caught 21 passes for 88 yards and also ran the ball 15 times. This season, Miltz will be a wide receiver and defensive back for the Golden Bears. He is tough, competes on every play and should help keep opposing defenses honest on the outside or in the slot.
Jaxon Miller, JR., TC, 6-1 235
If you pay attention to Twitter, Miller is the nationally-ranked long snapper from Triton Central. This upcoming season, after a solid sophomore season, the junior will be a tackle and a guard for the Tigers. At 235 pounds, Miller can run and will play inside linebacker. A tireless worker, Coach Able said Miller, in contrast to other players, will rest more on defense. He is that valuable offensively to the Tigers, who usually seem to have multiple weapons on that side of the ball. Getting those athletes open in space will be one of Miller’s main goals.
Bryce Shelton, SO., SHS, 6-2 220
Clevenger was very high on Shelton and his potential last season. Now, as a sophomore, Shelton is expected to lead the offensive and defensive lines for Shelbyville. He is a bright kid and a workhorse at practice, which is exactly the type of young talent Clevenger needs in his program.
Keaton Kermode, SR., TC, 5-10 190
Keaton was an animal with the ball in his hands last season, finishing with 886 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. With excellent feet, Keaton, who dances in his free time away from school and athletics, has a perfect mix of power and agility. As a junior, he averaged 7.1 yards per carry and had four games witih over 100 rushing yards. Defensively this season, Keaton will move from outside linebacker to strong safety. Last season, he finished with 48 tackles.
Jaeylen Williams, SR., SHS, 6-1 235
Like Shelton, Williams will also be an instrumental piece to both the offensive and defensive lines for SHS. It will be up to those two, among others, to clear space for the Golden Bears’ offensive arsenal. Williams, a senior, has a solid mix of size and athleticism, which will be needed against a tough Hoosier Heritage Conference schedule.
Trent Walters, SR., TC, 5-5 113
Don’t let his size fool you. At 5-5, Walters may be one of the smallest players during any given contest this season. But the kid has heart, according to Able. He is a very quick and “swift” runner and returns as the most experienced defensive back. Walters will also line up at wide receiver and will return punts this upcoming season.
Kris Mills is the Sports editor of The Shelbyville News. Follow Kris on Twitter @KrisMills37.