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Expectations high for 2014 Trenton team PHOTOS

  • Action photos by Frank Wladyslawski

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Trenton got out to a rough start in 2013, but proved to be a formidable opponent in the second half of the season.

The Trojans (4-5 overall) were 3-2 in their last five games and in their two defeats lost by only 13 points combined.

With many talented returners back this fall, Trenton Coach Bob Czarnecki said the team is optimistic about its chances for a full year of success.

“The kids are excited about the new season,” Czarnecki said. “We all have very high expectations for the 2014 season.”

A big reason for the second-half resurgence was quarterback Christian Mercure, who is back for his senior season. The athletic signal caller ran for nearly 1,300 yards, which was the second highest rushing total in school history, and he ran in 15 touchdowns. Mercure also demonstrated an ability to throw the ball, as he finished with 523 yards passing and five touchdowns.

When Mercure hands off this season, it will be to an experienced set of runners, as seniors Max Holden and Conor Cunningham and junior Grant McClellan have returned as fullbacks and senior Brad Boler will be a tailback. Last year, the four players combined for about 120 carries. Also serving as tailbacks will be juniors Jake Nabozny and Carl Olds.

At the receiver position, Trenton will also have a talented and seasoned group as the new campaign gets started.

Seniors Nick Porreca, Brady Tanguay, Vinnie Bartaway and Dylan Berry will be running routes as wide receivers, while senior Tyler Deister and junior Patrick Czarnecki will line up as slot receivers.

The offensive line, however, will feature some inexperience, as the team lost two big pieces to graduation in Brett Micallef and Garrett Carroll.

Czarnecki said seniors Blayd Weedon and Ryan Coleman were in competition for the center position, while the guards would be juniors Mason Walz and Lauren Sauve and the tackle spots would be manned by juniors Dylan Pasqualli and Brent Kennedy.

Making their way to the other side of the ball as defensive linemen will be Pasqualli and Walz and they will be joined by Holden.

Three of the team’s top four tacklers from last season will start at linebacker, as McClellan (86), Cunningham (75) and senior Luke Steffke (54) are all back as defenders and they will be joined by senior Derek Self, who saw some action last year, as well.

In the secondary, Tanguay, Boler, Porreca and junior Mason Doree are listed as corners, while Deister, Bartaway, Nabozny and Czarnecki are in the mix to play safety.

When it comes to special teams, the Trojans will have a big advantage this year.

In addition to playing offense and defense, Tanguay is also the team’s kicker and is one of the best in the entire state. Last year he earned an all-state honorable mention and in practice this summer has hit from 55 yards out. Handling the punting duties in 2014 will be Porreca.

To open the season, Trenton will welcome in Roosevelt for a game on Aug. 28.

Last Updated: 8/27/2014 8:46:20 PM EST