August 16, 2014 10:24:47 PM
By Brian Lentz
Special to The Dispatch
The first chapter of the Kris Pickle era at New Hope unfolded on Saturday night in Davis Wade Stadium.
New Hope defeated Greenville-Weston 21-0, and the Trojans did it in style, debuting new gray and black uniforms and a new helmet design.
"I love it," said senior Jeremy Newton, on the team's new look. "It's a new look for a new team and a new season."
The Trojans' performance on the field was just as flashy as the new uniforms they played in. The defense held the Hornets to just two first downs, both of which came late in the contest with 53 seconds remaining. Before their final possession, the Hornets had yet to even cross midfield.
"They flew to the football," said Pickle. "That is the biggest thing that we have stressed to them all week long and all during the offseason. We told them that we had to have eleven guys going to the football. That's the biggest thing that we want out of those guys."
The defense kept the Hornets in check for the entire scrimmage, and had them on the ropes several times against their own goal line. That's just part of the style of defense Pickle is hoping to see in every game this season.
"We're going to be aggressive on defense," said Pickle. "We're not going to just sit back and let the game happen. We're going to take it to the offense every chance that we get."
The Trojans offense also was a point of interest, as new quarterback Stone Sisson made his debut for the first time as a starter.
"I was a little nervous at first," said Sisson. "(But) Coach Pickle got us ready for this moment over the offseason, and we came out and executed plays real well. I also worked a lot over the offseason on throwing, especially with the long passes. Coach Pickle also taught me to bend my shoulders back and follow through, and I think that really helped."
Senior Lee Brandon was another point of interest on the offensive side, as he was seemingly all over the field for the Trojans, capping off his night with the final touchdown of the scrimmage. Fellow offensive weapons Bryson Ellis and Brenton Spann also had big performances, with both players earning one score each.
Overall, Pickle seemed pleased with the all-around offensive effort as well.
"Our offense is a whole eleven," said Pickle. "We've got guys that are able to make plays and offensive lineman that make it all happen. When you have guys that can do all these things every Friday night, it makes your job and calling plays a whole lot easier."
Despite not making the playoffs last year, the Trojans have high goals in mind for this season.
"A lot of people on the team want to win our district," said Sisson. "(But) I don't think it has to stop there. I think the team wants to go a little further than that."