Coach: Jason Estep, 13th season (108-28)
2018 Record: 11-0, 5-0 in CISAA
Returning Starters: Offense, 5; Defense, 4
Inside the Huddle
The two-time defending NCISAA champs come into this season down 22 seniors and a handful of key starters from both sides of the ball from last year’s unbeaten team.
Those departures left a void at quarterback, defensive back, linebacker and tight end that could cripple other programs, but the Knights will be in contention for a third title.
Matthew Tuomala is the new quarterback, replacing four-year starter Garrett Shrader. Henry Rutledge led the team in receiving yards last season, but will return to running back, his natural position, and share the backfield with Chip Kasay.
JB Awolowo and Logan Jones are lightning-quick receiving options, and Brett Adams should make some plays at tight end. Watch out for freshman Liam Groulx in either of those roles as well as he could be a big-time star before it’s all over.
Both the offensive and defensive lines are stout. Chase Preston and Mason Diel headline the offensive side while Grayson Cadd, Philip Slaughter and Nick Greene stand out defensively.
The middle of the defense is good with linebackers Caleb Stephens and Awolowo leading that unit.
The Knights would like to see Ben Schropshire win the kicking duties to relieve Rutledge, who will rarely come of the field otherwise.
It may take some time, but a third state title is certainly within reach here. The Knights will get big seasons from Rutledge, Kasay, Jones and Awolowo on offense. The defense will be tough with Cadd, Slaughter and Brown among the playmakers.
QB: Matthew Tuomala; RB: Henry Rutledge; RB: Chip Kasay; TE: Brett Adams; WR: Logan Jones; WR: JB Awolowo; LT: Chase Preston; LG: TBD; C: Mason Diel; RG: Nick Greene; and RT: Ben Stokley.
DE: Hudson Jones; DE: Philip Slaughter; DE: Grayson Cadd; DT: Nick Greene; OLB: Caleb Stephens/JB Awolowo; ILB: Ethan Kemmer/Brett Adams; LB: Will Farrell; CB: Hudson Jones; CB: LJ Brown; S: Carson Chow; and S: Logan Jones.
LS: Cameron Hicks; K: Henry Rutledge/Ben Schropshire; P: Ben Schropshire; K Ret: Henry Rutledge; and P Ret: JB Awolowo.
Liam Groulx (WR/TE); Hudson Collins (WR); Jimmy Bailey (TE); and Calvin Fernandez (WR)