NORTH LEWISBURG – If the Triad football team has a mantra this season, it would probably be “keep Trent McIntyre healthy.”
The senior quarterback is one of the best in the area when he can stay healthy.
He missed the first five games last season due to a knee injury, but the Cardinals went 6-4 in the regular season and still advanced to the playoffs for the third straight time.
Besides McIntyre, key players on the Triad offense will include running back Dalton Holycross, receiver Garrison Rogan, receiver Timmy Marsalis, receiver Alec Saunders and receiver Briley Harlan, who led the team in receptions last season.
Camron Atchison, Derek McCall, Cameron Boes and Dylan Rice are also vying for playing time at the skill positions.
Triad will have to completely overhaul its offensive and defensive lines, where there are no returners.
Jake Thompson (LT), Quentin Perry (LG), Colby McConnell (C), Chris Hinkle (RG) and Josh McManaway (RT) will start on the offensive line. Thompson and McConnell were both skill players last season. Harley Huffman and Riley Louck are also vying for playing time.
McManaway (DE), McConnell (DE), Louck (DT) and Hinkle (DT) will start on the defensive line. Perry, Huffman and Atchison will also be vying for playing time.
Starting at linebacker and in the secondary will be: Dylan Wilson (MLB), Thompson (OLB), Rogan (OLB), Saunders (CB), Harlan (CB), McIntyre (SS) and Holycross (FS). McCall, Rice, Clayton Smith and Boes will also be vying for playing time.
“In our first scrimmage versus Ada we made some youthful, yet fixable mistakes,” said Triad Coach Payton Printz. “We worked extremely hard in practice the next week at fixing those mistakes and it paid off. We scrimmaged Newark Catholic in a Jamboree Game Friday night at home and defeated them 32-20. Newark Catholic is a great football team and they are going to win a lot of games this year, so defeating them by 12 points is a great accomplishment for our team.
“I truly love the work ethic and leadership of this year’s team,” Printz added. “We feel Greeneview, West Liberty-Salem, Mechanicsburg and Triad will be the top four teams in the conference and the OHC champion will be crowned from one of those four teams.”
After competing in Division VII last year, Triad will move up to Division VI, Region 22 this season.
The Cardinals open the season Friday night at Indian Lake.