Rock Port Reloads for 2014

Published 08/14 2014 05:34PM

Updated 08/16 2014 12:49PM

(ROCK PORT, Mo.) Three years ago the Rock Port Blue Jays were entering their first season as an 8-man football program. Two years later they boast a record of 18-5 in 8-man play and are looking to take yet another step in 2014.

"We're looking to continue to build on that and hopefully establish ourselves as an 8-man power," said head coach Ross Hastert.

In their first two 8-man seasons they grabbed one district title and a district runner-up. While that's something to hang their hat on, they plan to start this season focusing on the little things.

"Take it one week at a time, don't want to look too far ahead. Personally, my goal is to lead the team the best I can," junior quarterback Trey Pope said.

Pope's 2013 season was cut short by a broken collarbone that he suffered in week 4 against Stanberry. This year he will be under center behind a very experienced offensive line.

"We've got a strong line, four seniors coming back, I'm real confident in what they can do," Pope says.

That experienced line will be protecting not only the junior quarterback, but also a backfield full of new faces. A backfield that they have confidence in.

"We lost a lot of talent last year, but the new guys in the backfield are working hard. We've got some quick guys and some more talent," said senior lineman Payton Lingerfelt.

Dalton Jones added, "I've been amazed by how some of these guys can step up just like that, just on a dime, and I'm very confident in the guys behind me."

The Blue Jays have some key spots to fill and just 19 players on this year's team, amplifying the importance of sticking together.

"We've been working really hard to make sure the team stays tight knit. We're all trying to stay very positive during practice and we just want to be able to keep that going on throughout the games," said senior wideout Dylan Lee.

"The biggest thing we're preaching this year is be a team. All eight guys working together on the field and I think that will do some good things for us," said Hastert.

The Blue Jays kickoff the season August 22 at home against Worth County.

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