Redhawks Prepare for Home Opener as Pontiac Heads to Athens High School Tonight
Head coach Josh Heppner is in his third year with the Redhawks and looking for his second win of the 2011 season.
By Jake Thielen, September 2, 2011
With one win already under its belt, the Troy Athens High School football team will look to build on its strong start tonight in the team’s home opener against Oakland Activities Association Red Division rival Pontiac.
The Redhawks defeated Warren Mott, 29-14, in their season-opening game Aug. 27. Tonight’s game will be an opportunity to move to 2-0 and avenge a 42-3 loss to Pontiac last year.
Third-year coach Josh Heppner liked what he saw from his team during the Mott game, and he said he hopes it was a sign of good things to come.
“I think they seemed to play a more mentally focused game and made minimal mistakes,” Heppner said. “They fought hard for four quarters and I was very happy with that.”
Heppner said he was impressed with both his offense and defense in the Redhawks’ opening game. In that game, Lonnie Boldin ran for 137 yards and a touchdown and Kris Gervin added seven carries for 54 yards to lead Athens offensively.
“Boldin had a 94-yard touchdown run that pretty much sealed the game for us,” Heppner said. “Gervin is very elusive and we’re looking for him to do great things this year.”
Defensively, Athens was led by Matt Fitzpatrick and Lonnie Jaynes, who each finished with 10.5 tackles. Heppner also gave credit to the defensive line, led by Tony Shayoka, Brandon Terry, Alex Lewis and Kento Mori, for a strong game.
However, for the Redhawks to have success against Pontiac, Heppner said they have to keep working hard and prepare for an “old school, smash mouth” type of game.
“It’s going to be a really physical game,” Heppner said. “I like where we’re at, but I’m not complacent. We’re close to being a really solid football team.”
The Redhawks are hoping to improve upon last season’s 3-6 record, but Heppner said he’s not overly concerned with wins and losses this year as long as he sees progress being made.
“I want a team that works hard and plays together,” Heppner said. “If we fight hard for a common cause, the wins will come.”
Troy Athens 2011 season at a glance
- Aug. 25, 7 p.m., away Warren Mott W 29-14
- Sept. 2, 7 p.m., home, Pontiac
- Sept. 9, 7 p.m., away, Clarkston
- Sept. 16, 7 p.m., home, Royal Oak
- Sept. 23, 7 p.m., home, Rochester
- Sept. 30, 7 p.m., home, West Bloomfiel
- Oct. 7, 7 p.m., away, Lake Orion
- Oct., 14, 7 p.m., away, To Be Determined
- Oct. 21, 7 p.m. home, Troy