Chesterton Tribune



New look Trojan football team makes debut Friday

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For the most part, the names and faces will be new.

Starting at the top, Mark Peterson will begin his reign as head coach of the Chesterton Trojans as they make their debut Friday with a scrimmage at Lafayette Jeff.

“I’m excited to get going,” Peterson said. “I was ready to be back in the role of head coach and work with a great group of kids like we have here. The opportunity presented itself and I’m happy the administration has the faith in me to keep the success we have going here.”

Peterson is more than familiar with the job ahead after three years as an assistant under former Trojan head coach John Snyder and a stint as head coach at DAC-rival Portage.

“I think being familiar with the conference is a great help,” Peterson said. “There are certain things that we know about other teams and I think having had success in the DAC before bodes well.

“Having been an assistant here for the last three years is a tremendous advantage. The transition has been easy. I don’t have to go around checking on things and coaching-up our coaches. They are all great at their jobs and I can just let them go and know that those kids are getting better every day.”

On the offensive side of the ball, junior Cole Teal takes over at quarterback with playmaker Avery Beeks also back.

“Overall, the offensive kids have started to gel and we’ve put in some schemes and adjusted some things,” Peterson said. “We’ve got a great nucleus of kids back with six full-time players from last year. Cole Teal and Avery Beeks have had some starting experience and we’ll rely on them.”

The Trojans have several other playmakers that have emerged during early practices.

“We are going to try and spread the wealth offensively and I think Cole will do a great job of that,” Peterson said. “Avery Beeks, Davielle Stewart and Austin Stickler can make plays out on the perimeter. Steffan Dines will be somebody at receiver we’ll try to get the ball to. “

Defense will be the side of the ball the Trojans may struggle with the most. Chesterton lost 10 starters off of last year’s team.

“Defensively, it’s exciting,” Peterson said. “We lost 10 starters from last year, so we’re repping a lot of kids at a lot of positions. The kids are starting to step up and do a nice job, but it’ll be a work in progress.

“Evan Gill has stepped in and done some great things for us and so has Ranbir Singh in the front four. Jaycee Jensen at linebacker is back as well.”

On special teams, the Trojans will get another boost from the soccer team.

“Having two guys like Caleb (Gmyrek) and Nate (Needham) in the kicking game is really a blessing for us,” Peterson said. “We can kick the ball in the end zone and we punt the ball well. If the offense bogs down, we know we can at least put three points on the board as well.

“We’ve got a lot of other kids that have seen some time on special teams that should help us a lot in field position.”



Posted 8/15/2013