By The Telegram

When the 2008 football season kicked off, the Stanton County Trojans had just 24 players on their opening game roster against Hugoton.

When the Trojans headed to the locker room on the heels of a 48-6 loss, they were down to 19 players. It was that kind of opener.

Now, a year later, coach Bret Kendrick has 30 players on his roster that has created more depth and competition for this year's starting spots. As a result of the injuries sustained a year ago, Kendrick has 19 lettermen, all of whom started at one time or another as the Trojans finished 4-5, losing out in a tiebreaker with Sublette for the state playoffs.

"Injuries wiped us out last year," Kendrick said. "Our numbers are up, we can dig a little deeper for competition and barring injuries I think we can be a good team."

Kendrick will continue to have his offense run out of varying sets, with the basis being the wishbone, I-formation and tight wing. Utilizing the running of three underclassmen junior Joe McCleary (5-10, 175), junior Austin Nairn (6-1, 175) and senior Richard Seger (5-8, 160), the Trojans will stick with what has been successful for Kendrick in his six years at the school.

"I think this group is more all for the team than the ones we've had the past couple of years," Kendrick said. "We might be a little quicker, we're not bigger but you'd always like to have more size and speed."

The Trojans quarterback battle has been between sophomore Seth Holliday (5-7, 140) and freshman Quinn Kendrick (5-9, 145). Two seniors center Spencer Walker (5-10, 190) and guard Cory Carruth (6-0, 185) will anchor the Stanton County offensive line.

The receiving corps will be comprised of junior tight end David Logan (6-2, 190) and sophomore wide receiver Fabian Sierra (5-8, 155).

Defensively, Kendrick will have Nairn and Seger in the secondary along with senior Kenneth Butler (5-7, 150). The linebacking corps will be sophomore Marcus Logan (6-0, 165), Casswell and McCleary. Logan, Navarro, Grover and Walker will be on the defensive front along with senior Martin Pantoja (5-9, 215).

With more depth, Kendrick is hopeful that translates into an improved record. By the sixth game last year, his roster was down to 15 players.

"If we can get through Hugoton and not get banged up and get back to 2A competition, we should have a chance to be competitive," Kendrick said. "Hugoton's got a tremendous team and I honestly have no idea how we'll do against them. The bulls-eye is on their back and we're in a win-win situation. Nobody expects us to win and if we get blown out most people would expect that. But I like the team, I like our players, I like our attitude. This is a fun group to be with."