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(Neola) After back to back playoff appearances to start off the John Tiarks era in Tri-Center, last year’s Trojan football team sputtered to just a 3-win season.


Coach Tiarks says the expectation is to get back in the playoffs and he realizes he may be in the minority with that line of thought. One of the reasons for optimism is the size of their offensive line. Coach John Tiarks says it’ll be the biggest he’s coached. Brandon Jensen, Adam McDermott, and Clayton Davis will be some of the big bodies up front.


Running behind them will be all new faces after Tri-Center’s top four rushers all graduated including 1st team all-state performer Ben Wellman who rushed for over 2,000 yards and averaged 8.3 yards per carry. Among those trying to fill the void will be Dillion Manhart.


Manhart ran for 97 yards last year on only 16 attempts. He’s also the team’s leading returning tackler with 97 stops as a sophomore.


Aiding the cause this season will be a handful of seniors that have come back out for football after a year or two away to focus on other sports. Among those are starting quarterback candidate Sam Sorenson along with Christian Pauley and Devin Heinen who look to split time at running back.  


Tri-Center's first game of the season is next Friday against Underwood. Their district slate features road games at MVOA, Westwood, Logan-Magnolia and Griswold. Home games in the playoff hunt include St. Albert, Audubon, and Riverside.


Click for the interview with coach John Tiarks

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