The afternoon sun beat down on the sweat-soaked backs of the players as they huddled at one end zone, the grounds crew worked hard in the other to prepare the field for the Trailblazers’ first home game of the season.
Crisp white yard lines, the smooth gravel of the surrounding track and a bright blue “TC” in the center of the field all pointed to one thing: Tolton was ready to play.
Following back-to-back blowout losses of 40-0 and 61-12, Tolton seems eager to prove itself to the fans that have traveled the past two weeks to support them.
“It’s exciting. I think the guys are ready to go, they’re fired up, they get to play in front of their home crowd,” coach Michael Egnew said. “Honestly, we’re ready to go. Everyone’s a little bit more anxious to get started.”
In spite of these losses, the Trailblazers seem unfazed and remain motivated with each new week.
“All you can do is come back to the field and hit a little bit harder,” Egnew said. “That’s how we feel. We’re not looking back, we’re only looking forward.”
Per usual, the team has spent the past week of practice developing their football fundamentals. This includes making sure the offensive and defensive lines are playing “stout and sound,” improving the receivers’ tracking of the ball and simply fixing the mistakes from the previous games.
Going into Friday, Egnew’s goals for the team are simple: play sound, fundamental football defensively and take an aggressive, score-for-score approach offensively.
“Honestly, I just want 100% effort through the entire game,” Egnew said. “I want us to just focus on all the little things, all the details. If my players can play without mental errors, that’d be incredible and I think we’d do a good job.”
Three players stand out and are worth keeping an eye on during Friday’s game, Egnew said.
Freshman receiver and safety Landon Block, junior receiver and defensive back C.J. Campbell and senior running back and linebacker Connor Fogue currently lead the Trailblazers on both sides of the ball and will play a crucial role in the team’s upcoming game.
These three and the rest of the Trailblazers will take on the St. Francis Borgia Knights at 7 p.m. on Friday in their home opener.