SOUTHINGTON, Ohio (WKBN) – Chalker didn’t have to look far for their new head coach. Former Wildcat and assistant Justin Kren was named to the position in late-January.
Last fall, Chalker played in the least amount of games (5) of any area team (tied with Champion). The Wildcats lost each of their five games a year ago. It was just 2018 when the ‘Cats finished with a winning record of 6-4.
Kren says, “We have thirteen players returning on both sides of the ball. Offensively and defensively, my expectations are to develop our identity.”
The season gets underway in North Jackson on Friday, August 20 when Chalker visits Jackson-Milton.
2020 Record: 0-5 (0-5, 6th place in NAC)
Coach: Justin Kren, 1st season
Previewing Chalker’s Offense
Scoring Offense: 5.2 (62nd in Area)
Key Returnees: Chayse Harris, JR/QB; Hector Pagan, SR/WR; Trey Redding, SR/RB; Caleb Slusher, SR/OL; James Stull, JR/WR; Blake Troyer, JR/RB
Key Losses: Cobe Cernuto, OL; TJ Duffey, OL
Name to watch for: Chayse Harris, QB
The keys to the offense will be in Chayse Harris’ hands again. Last season, Harris threw for 131 yards. He’ll have two returning running backs – Trey Redding and Blake Troyer – and a pair of receivers – Hector Pagan and James Stull – back in the fold.
Coach Kren says, “Offensively, we’ll be relying on our run game. We’ll be splitting time among multiple candidates. It comes down to how our line plays, we’ll look very similar to last year. Standouts so far in the off-season are Caleb Slusher and Ryan Heardman.”
Of their 5-games a year ago, Chalker scored just 26 points and were shut out three times.
Previewing Chalker’s Defense
Scoring Defense: 41.0 (60th in Area)
Key Returnees: Hector Pagan, SR/DB; Trey Redding, SR/DB; Caleb Slusher, SR/DL; Blake Troyer, JR/DB
Key Losses: Jack Cabot, DB; TJ Duffey, DL
Each of their 5-opponents a year ago scored 34 points or more against Chalker.
“Defensively, we’ll need to be versatile with having kids play multiple positions,” Kren says. “Our strength, I feel will be our defensive front. We have a few returning starters but I am impressed with some of the incoming freshmen class.”
2020 NAC Standings
Pymatuning Valley – 6-0 (8-1)
Fairport Harding – 4-2 (4-3)
Mathews – 3-3 (3-7)
Windham – 2-3 (2-4)
St. John – 2-4 (2-6)
Southington – 0-5 (0-5)