KINGSTON — The Kingston Cavalier football team may not have the same turnout numbers as they have had in recent years, but they hope to have the same fighting spirit.
The Cavaliers, buoyed in recent years by a high number of students, this year had only 22 students turn out to be fitted for helmets and pads.
That means this year will be a test, said head coach Tony Chisholm — both for the players, and for him and his staff.
“We’ll see how well we know the game of football,” Chisholm said.
While the young team doesn’t have great depth, their attitude has been dead-on so far, Chisholm said.
“They’re working really, really hard,” Chisholm said, “and that’s important … we’ll be putting a team out that will give 110 percent.”
The team that hits the field will not be without talent. Chisholm and the rest of the staff was impressed with the team’s performance in a recent jamboree on Bainbridge Island, and some of the players who will hit the field on Sept. 19 come back with plenty of junior-varsity experience from last year.
The quarterback will be Jordan Prince; fullback Garen Dukes is a team leader, said Chisholm, who added, “Sometimes he’s a quiet leader, and sometimes he’s more vocal.”
The line will include Jonathan Bagwell, Noah Hieronymus, and Sam Harris, of whom Chisholm said, “He’ll be an important piece of the puzzle on the offensive line.”
The team will also be helped by center Danny Glushko, who carries the nickname “Animal.”
Chisholm clucked, shook his head, and said of Glushko, “He was 6-foot-1 last year, and you know what? He came back bigger.”
Glushko, who now stands 6-foot-3, will be expected to be a handful or two for opposing defensive lines.
That will be helpful, Chisholm said, for one of the team’s strengths — their running backs. While Dukes will be a big part of the team, the staff is also expecting improvement from Brian Cleaver.
“He should have a great year,” Chisholm said of the talented eighth-grader. “I anticipate us being able to run the football.”
The Cavaliers’ staff includes Bob Good, James Andrews, Brian Ritter, and Paul Fairless. The team is looking forward to their debut, which will be at 3 p.m. on Sept. 19 when they visit Cedar Heights.
Chisholm said, “The kids are having a blast. We’re like a small family.”