AURORA CENTRAL TROJANS
Coach: Taylor Calvert, 1st season
Last year: 1-9 (missed 5A playoffs)
League: Class 5A Aurora League
Players to watch: Jeffrey Tootle, 5-foot-11, 185 pounds, RB/LB, sr.; A’Deril Agnew, 5-7, 155, DB/WR, sr.; Manny Fernandez, 6-1, 180, QB, sr.; Ian Palmer, 5-11, 275, NT/OG, sr.; Jevin Jordan, 5-5, 175, LB, soph.
2012 Outlook: New coach Taylor Calvert is full of energy and determination, believing that he and his staff — which includes former Denver Broncos great Tom Nalen — can turn around a program that won just a single game last season. Strong summer work and the presence of 13 seniors could help translate into a season Calvert, brother of Aurora Central boys basketball coach Ian Calvert, sees with .500 potential. Running back Jeffrey Tootle, wide out A’Deril Agnew and quarterback Manny Fernandez have plenty of experience and could benefit from a move to a simplified game plan on offense. Nose tackle Ian Palmer, tenacious sophomore linebacker Jevin Jordan and Agnew, a potential shutdown defensive back, should give more teeth to a defense that allowed 44 points per game last season.
Quoting the coach: “It comes down to just some common sense football stuff. They had been coached in the past to do what that coach wanted. Now, we have coaches who have played in the NFL or college at some point and we’ve noticed a lot of the basic stuff was missing. We covered a lot of it in the summer. There’s still definitely a lot of room to grow, but we saw signs during some of our scrimmages. We need to work on being a team and having common goals, but I’m real excited about our prospects.”
Schedule (home games in call caps played at Aurora Public Schools Stadium): Friday, Aug. 31 — VISTA PEAK, 6 p.m.; Friday, Sept. 7 — vs. Ab. Lincoln at All-City Field, 7 p.m.; Saturday, Sept. 15 — vs. Smoky Hill at Stutler Bowl, 1 p.m.; Thursday, Sept. 20 — THORNTON, 6 p.m.; Thursday, Sept. 27 — RANGEVIEW, 7 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 6 — GATEWAY, 6 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 13 — at Adams City, 1 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 20 — vs. Denver East at All-City Field, 10 a.m.; Friday, Oct. 26 — HINKLEY, 6 p.m.
Reach Sports Editor Courtney Oakes at email@example.com or 303-750-7555