GREENVILLE, Pa. (WKBN) – Greenville is seeking its first winning season since 2017 (9-3). Last season was the first in 15 years that the Trojans didn’t play in the post-season (2005).
“We’re excited to get started,” said Coach Brian Herrick, who’s beginning his 15th season at the helm of Trojan football.
After last year’s winless season, he said they want to get back to playing competitive football each week.
“We hope to be competitive in Region I this fall.”
Greenville has had three coaches since 1969. Bob Ballock led the Trojans from 1969 to 1977, finishing seven of his nine campaigns with winning records. Bob Stone took over in 1978 and coached for the next 29 seasons, amassing a record of 222-75-7. Herrick’s teams have failed to post at least a .500 record just four times (three of which were playoff squads).
The Trojans’ path to their goal will begin by hosting Farrell Friday, August 27.
2020 Record: 0-8 (0-7), 4th place in Region 1 (Class 2A)
Coach: Brian Herrick, 15th season (92-65)
Previewing Greenville’s Offense
Scoring Offense: 7.8 (58th in area)
Total Offense: 168.6
Returning Starters: 5
Key Returnees: Mason Dickens, JR/RB; Nick Eynon, SR/OL; Anthony Gentile, SR/OL; Jase Herrick, JR/WR; Jalen Ritzert, SR/QB
Key Losses: Rufus Byler, WR; Garrett Hilliard, OL; Cole Karpinski, TE
Name to watch for: Jalen Ritzert, QB
The Trojans have averaged 45.2 passing yards over the course of their last 29 outings. Quarterback Jalen Ritzert completed 44.7% of his 97 passes (43-97) while throwing for 509 yards and 4 scores as a junior.
“It’s always nice to have your quarterback returning,” Herrick said. “Jalen will have a good year.”
Greenville saw a decrease in rushing yards per game from 191.3 in 2019 to 94.6 yards per contest in 2020.
The Trojans’ top two rushers were underclassmen a year ago. Mason Dickens (as a sophomore) and Malachi Hyde (as a freshman) combined to run for 539 yards during their condensed eight-game campaign.
Greenville will also welcome back junior Aden Sasala, who figures into the mix as well.
“We’re excited to have all three back,” Herrick said. “They’re bigger and stronger this year, and all have good running skills.”
Junior receiver Jase Herrick caught 10 passes for 14.3 yards per reception a year ago.
“By the end of the season, Jase was a starter at wideout and made some big plays for us,” Herrick said. “We’ll count on him to lead a young wide receiver group.”
The Trojans will be without their tight end Cole Karpinski, who will focus on wrestling this coming year.
The offensive line will be overhauled. Anthony Gentile and Nick Eynon will be their two lone returning starters and will be expected to anchor the line.
Previewing Greenville’s Defense
Scoring Defense: 34.3 (56th in area)
Returning Starters: 5
Key Returnees: Keagan Clark, SR/LB; Mason Dickens, JR/LB; Anthony Gentile, SR/DL; Jase Herrick, JR/DB; Jalen Ritzert, SR/DB
Key Losses: Lane Fry, LB; Cole Karpinsky, DL; Isaac Sasala, DB; Ross Schwartz, DL
Name to watch for: Jase Herrick, S
Greenville had permitted less than 20 points per game in four of five years (2012-17). However, over the course of the last three seasons (29 games), the Trojans have allowed an average of 30 points per outing.
Jase Herrick led the team in tackles (52) a year ago as a sophomore cornerback. This year, he’ll move to free safety.
“Jase will be our play caller on defense this year,” Herrick said. “He had an outstanding 2020 season and we’ll need him to be a leader in a young secondary.”
Jalen Ritzert intercepted a pair of passes last year and finished second on the team in tackles with 43.
Another key piece in the Trojans’ defense will be Anthony Gentile. The senior linemen saw his contributions increase from 15 tackles as a sophomore to 33 tackles just last year.
“We should have good speed on defense. With that said, we’ll need great improvement on that side of the ball to have a successful season,” Herrick said.
2020 Class 2A Region 1 Standings
Wilmington – 6-0 (10-1)
Farrell – 4-2 (5-3)
Sharpsville – 3-4 (3-5)
Greenville – 0-7 (0-8)
Aug. 27 – Farrell
Sept. 3 – Lakeview
Sept. 10 – at Sharpsville
Sept. 17 – Wilmington
Sept. 25 – at Kennedy Catholic
Oct. 1 – Mercer
Oct. 8 – at Reynolds
Oct. 15 – at West Middlesex
Oct. 22 – at Harbor Creek
Oct. 29 – Conneaut