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Cents look to boost interest

Program sees dropoff after freshman team

Posted: August 31, 2009 10:58 p.m.
Updated: September 1, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
One of the major goals within the Saugus football program is to decrease the amount of turnover from the freshman team.

The amount of freshmen continuing their playing careers after year one has been one of the challenges.

New freshman head coach Kevin Miner said he hopes things change after this season.

“The one thing I’ve noticed over the course of my (athletic director) job is the freshman team going onto JV, we’re only getting 50 percent of our kids to move onto the next level,” said Miner, who is also the school’s co-athletic director. “I went in with the goal to try and make it fun and teach them to play football the Saugus way, and try and get as many guys to stick with it to understand it’s a four-year commitment and see where we get.”

There are approximately 57 kids on the freshman team at Saugus.

On the current junior varsity, there are only 28.

“We don’t know what the reasons are,” Miner said for the numbers. “There’s no finger pointing. Maybe times have changed. It’s harder and harder to find kids who are committed to spend six weeks of the summer three hours a day or more preparing for football.”

Nonetheless, the Centurions do have a group of committed freshmen.

Miner said his freshman team is balanced and the talent level is pretty spread out.

The young Centurions run a variation of the Saugus varsity offense, which has been led by a running quarterback.

Miner said he has two candidates for that position in left-hander Kyle Mark and the more experienced Casey Boersma.

Mark was spending more time at the running back position early in the summer, but his athleticism made the coaching staff give him a try at the quarterback position late in the summer.

Miner said there are players such as running back/linebacker Vincent Gerardo and 130-pound defensive lineman Tyler Smith who play much bigger than they are.

Other key players for this team, Miner said, could include lineman Ryan Hartman, a recent transplant from Boston, and lineman Adam Edwards.

Miner said 285-pound lineman Trahvon Trustman could be a sleeper on this team. He is green, Miner said, but the coach said he has a lot of potential.

“Our goal is to make it an enjoyable experience, and get as many guys on the field that we can and move them to the next level,” Miner said.

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