KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The graduating class of 2019 left a big hole behind for Knoxville Catholic football. Literally.
Offensive linemen Brynn Tucker and Cooper Mays along with defensive end Tyler Baron are now on roster for Clemson and Tennessee Football, forcing the Irish to look toward some young faces to get work done in the trenches.
“Our new guys they’re all hardworking, they’re smart,” senior offensive lineman Maximus Vanderhoofven said of the newcomers on the line. “They want to play, they want to work hard. Everybody is willing to listen and learn from each other.”
What the Irish lack in experience up front, they make up for at the skills position.
Junior Quarterback Kaden Martin is entering his second season with the Irish, and first entering the year as QB1. Martin, who took over the starting job midway through the 2019 season, threw for 1,226 yards and 11 touchdowns while also rushing for nine scores and is a “night and day different” quarterback this year according to Catholic head coach Steve Matthews.
“Getting bigger and stronger is part of it, but also understanding what we’re trying to do more offensively,” Matthews explained. “He has a high football IQ but really understanding what we’re trying to do in our system is going to be a huge benefit for him.”
Martin has a seemingly never-ending arsenal of offensive weapons at his disposal. The Irish return standout wide receiver Tommy Winton, and star running back Keondre Jarmon. The junior duo were stats leaders at their respective positions a year ago, and with a plethora of depth behind Winton and Jarmon which will allow Catholic’s offense to stretch the field more this season.
“It’s going to increase numbers,” Winton said. “We’ve got so many young athletes and it’s going to make it easier keeping everybody fresh and being able to go back and forth between kids.”
“A lot of talented guys that people haven’t seen yet,” Matthews said. “A young group, but a good group of guys. I think we’ve got a chance to be a pretty good team.”
Knoxville Catholic begins their season Friday, August 21st on the road at Chuckey-Doak.
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