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Jasper Begins Tenure at Troy

Troy alum Derek Jasper enters his first year as head coach of the Trojans.
(TROY, Kan.) Derek Jasper enters his first year as head football coach at Troy, but it's more meaningful than just any coaching gig.

"This is very special for me. This is kind of a dream job. Kind of a dream come true to coach here."

Jasper graduated from Troy in 1991, and has taught in the school district for 15 years.

"I've wanted this job for a long time," Jasper said. "We're very excited to have it, and I'm excited with the coaching staff that we've got put together."

Jasper inherits a team that has won four games over the last two seasons combine.
  
"After back-to-back 2-7 years it seems like your program comes to a fork in the road," Jasper said. "You can either fall into that losing attitude, that losing pattern, and it can continue to spiral downward. Or you can be motivated and hungry to take the other path, and start to turn this thing around and get Trojan football back to where it's been in the past."

The Trojans had a roster full of young players in 2012. They return seven offensive and eight defensive starters including Jay Whetstine, and honorable mention all-state middle linebacker as a sophomore.

"We were a really young team. We finally have some upperclassmen," junior Jake Ross said. "It's a good turning point."

Jasper is preaching tempo to his new team. Troy hopes to move quickly and wear teams down by the fourth quarter.

"We're just trying to get in the best shape that we can. Really just use our speed as an advantage," Ross said.

"We're going to be conditioned well enough to compete in the fourth quarter and still have the same amount of energy we had in the first quarter," Jasper said. "We do have enough depth that we can get some people some rest, it's just the offensive line and defensive line that are really going to have to be ready go. There's just not a lot of depth there up in the trenches, and that's where a lot of these ball games are going to be won in the fourth quarter."

The young Trojans have now experienced a couple seasons of what Friday nights in the fall have to offer, and Coach Jasper believes it's time to see the results.

"They were young last year. They were inexperienced the last couple years. Now those kids have been out there in the battle. They've taken their lumps, and it's time for them to start performing with the experience they have."
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