2019 Hilltop Cadets (Football Preview)

By: Nate Calvin

Coming off a 4-6 season in 2018 and a 5th place finish in the TAAC, head coach Nathan Massie and his Hilltop Cadets will have some holes to fill due to graduations. Gone for Hilltop are four-year letterwinners WR/LB Jacob Champion (200 rec. yards, 2 TDs, 100 rushing yards) and QB/DB Christian McKinney (1,000 passing yards, 400 rushing, 12 TDs), along with four other letterwinners from a season ago.

Hilltop will have eight letterwinners returning led by Hayden Brown RB/S, Kaiden Clendenin OL/LB, Adley McNeal DE, Dan Shilling OL/DL, Hunter Leupp OL/LB, Evan Schoonover OL/DL, Casey Mahlman OL/DL, and Alex Richmond RB/LB.

Massie expects depth and experience at the skill positions to be a strength of this year’s squad while the offensive and defensive line play could be a weakness. The skill position depth will be helped by the addition of newcomers Tyzon Pelfrey DL/TE, Zaivon Eckenrode RB/DB, Griffin McEwen WR/DB, and Josh Fugate TE/LB.

“Health will be key to this season. If we can stay healthy then our depth at skill positions will be an advantage. Also, the development of our offensive line will be key as well”, said Massie, who enters his third season at the helm.

ABOUT THEIR SCHEDULE: With Toledo Christian and Holgate going to 8-man football this season, the Cadets are among several area teams that had to make changes to their 2019 schedule. Hilltop starts the season with four non-league games as they open at home against Edgerton on August 30th. The TAAC portion of the schedule starts on September 27th when they travel to Ottawa Hills.

Nate can be reached at publisher@thevillagereporter.com

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