KCHI Sports Director, Brent Hesse, sat down with Coach Chad Smith of the Chillicothe Hornets Football team to discuss the upcoming fall season. The audio of the interview that played on the radio is included in this article, and Coach Smith’s responses are in bold.
This is Brent Hesse at KCHI with another fall sports season preview. I’m here with Coach Smith of the football team, Coach Smith, thanks for joining us today. How are you doing?
I’m good, thanks for having me.
I know it’s been a little bit since we talked after the youth football camp and getting just an idea of how the season is going, but can you talk us through how things have been going since then, I know that you had practices and then we had the jamboree this past weekend. Just tell us a feel for how the team is looking right now.
Things have been going good, yeah that was a fun night with the youth football camp and then getting to see the middle school guys and everybody all in one day with the high school, it was a fun event. We had our dead week and since then we picked up and had some practices, felt like the guys have done really well the first two weeks of camp, putting in a partly new offense, you’ll still see several things that are familiar, but we’ve added some more spread offense formations to our game plan and then also changed some things on defense to switch in a little bit to a 3-3-5 to give us some more secondary in and a linebacker in some of our passing sets to combat some of these spread teams that we play.
There’s been a lot of changes in terms of players because I think when we talk, you mentioned 14 seniors that started that graduated this past year. How is it getting new players up to speed and trying to get them familiar with both offense and defense?
I think maybe it was 14 total, I think we had 11 or 12 that played a lot and were very, very good football players but we’ve had several guys step up that were new to the team, young guys that’ll be in the lineup that will be pretty good and then we have several guys that are coming back. We have just had All-Conference players, you got Javon Kille, Cayden Larson, Brody Cairns and Silas Midgyett and then Lane Nickell and we had All-State player in Bo Smith, offensive and defensive lineman coming back and then several other starters like Trent Jacobs and Remington Isaacs, guys have a lot of experience and then got some guys Jaishon White started at defensive line as a freshman last year and he’s going to start both ways this year and Sol’jier Allen also has joined our team and he’s going to play a lot at defensive back and in some of our slot receiver formations.
Talking with Coach Chad Smith of the Chillicothe Hornets football team, you mention a lot of those key players coming back so there’s definitely excitement when it comes this time of the season. What do you think some of the strengths of this year‘s football team are going to be?
I think upfront our offensive line with so much experience coming back is going to be a big part and then having some of our running backs like Silas, Silas Midgyett averaged almost 8 yards a carry last year, rushed for over 1000 yards as a freshman which is outstanding. Cayden Larson, whos never played quarterback before but he’s been one of our better players, really really surprised everybody with how well he throws the football, getting everything from even just like getting plays in, people don’t understand when quarterbacks, it’s a lot just getting the formations from the coach to the rest the team, and he’s done an outstanding job and Javon Kille, and Grant Leamer have done really well in our passing game. We’ve been able to throw pretty well to those guys and they’ve been very good catching the ball so has Jaishon.
Yeah, I did notice that in the jamboree even, being able to make some plays down the field with the passing game and talking about looking ahead to this week now and beginning the season. What are your expectations to begin the season? What are you hoping to see in the first couple weeks, I know the first game is at Marshall this Friday night what are you hoping to see to begin the season?
I would just like us to be very physical on both sides of the football, being fast upfront both sides and win the line scrimmaging and being able to block from every single position, wide receivers, running backs, everybody just being physical with their blocking. Tackling, open field, tackling and just being aggressive with our tackles is going to be a huge thing for us.
And I know we just talked about it. You begin the season on the road at Marshall but five home games this year. What’s your message for fans and parents and supporters that come out to watch Chillicothe when they are playing here locally?
It’s always a great atmosphere here. People come out and the stands are full just about every week, even when we play teams that may be 2-7 we’ll still play in front of a couple thousand people and they’ll get the parking lot going behind the visitor side and it makes it so much fun to coach, it makes it so much fun for the guys to play. This town loves its football and that makes it real special and fun.
Thank you so much, talking with Coach Smith of the Chillicothe Hornets football team. We’re looking forward to the season, appreciate your time.