Inexperience on both sides of the ball had the Marais Des Cygnes Valley Trojans endure a 1-8 record in 2018, the third consecutive year of only one win. The underclassmen took their licks last year but will come back with more experience for 2019.

Third-year coach Lewis Whitson(2-16, 24-33 overall) returns six starters on each side of the ball. Leading the way for the Trojans will be Seniors Koby Vanderpool, Garrett Holloway, and Frank Warner. Holloway along with returning starter Sophomore Chisolm Woodson will anchor the offensive line while Warner at 6’4” 280lbs will be the workhorse on the defensive front. Sophomores Cole Lacey, Wyatt Lingenfelter, and Max Davis will encompass the offensive backfield in Whitson’s single split, wing formations.

MDCV will look to make more of a splash in their district last year after failing to win a game. Compared to the other five teams in District 2 they return the most starters. If Whitson’s returning starters take a step forward with another year of experience under their belt, look for the Trojans to make their first playoff appearance since 2015.

We had an opportunity to speak with Coach Whitson before fall practice began. How important was it to conclude 2018 with a win over Crest?

Lewis Whitson: It was important for us for a lot of reasons. Last year was a challenging season because of a lot of changes we saw, but mostly because we were in a position where we were putting between three and five freshmen on the field every Friday night. So ending the season with a win was big for us.

SEKS: During your previous tenure at Hartford, year three saw a 3-win improvement. Is the same in store for the Trojans this year?

LW: My third year at Hartford, we had a number of upperclassmen that had seen the field for two to three years already. We will only have four returning upperclassmen this season, with varied playing experience. The chapters of wins and losses have yet to be written, but I expect us to be more competitive this year.

SEKS: What are some goals for this season?

LW: This offseason, we worked a lot on competing, developing grit, leadership, toughness, and having a sense of urgency. Those are some key components for us for 2019.

SEKS: Largest obstacle to overcome in 2019?

LW: We had some freshmen gain a lot of experience last year. Having a year under their belt already, we have made some changes on offense and defense. They still have areas where we need to develop.

SEKS: Biggest strength heading into this season?

LW: We will be up in numbers compared to the last several years. Overall, our experience will help us. Our team had an above-average offseason, the players that put the effort in this summer definitely saw their numbers in the weight room improve.

SEKS: Individuals that stood out during summer camp/workout programs?

LW: Koby Vanderpool looks really good for us on both sides of the ball and has an incredible work ethic. Chisolm Woodson is really developing as a lineman for us and has come a long way this summer both mentally and physically. Cole Lacey also had a great summer, and we’ve seen some really big improvements from him. Wyatt Lingenfelter, Max Davis, Ryan Bker, and Kyler Anschutz all had some great gains this summer, and I felt like they have some physical attributes that will carry over this fall.

SEKS: Game on the schedule you are most looking forward to?

LW: The next one!!

SEKS: What will define 2019 as a successful season?

LW: Regardless of wins and losses this season, gaining some intangible goals of being competitive, developing leadership, toughness, and grit are all things we are looking to gain from this year. We took some big steps in the right direction this summer, but we are really hoping those things will parlay into success this fall.

Be sure to check back to the MDCV Trojans Football team page throughout the season for results and articles.

Thanks to Coach Whitson’s contribution to our preview. Good Luck to the Trojans in 2019!