HUNDRED – To say that the Hundred football program has struggled over the last five years would be a major understatement. Afterall, the Hornets have a 4-42 record and have been shut out 17 times during that span.
Over the last two years alone Hundred has just one win in 18 games with eight shut outs while also at least 42 points in 16 of those 17 setbacks.
However, first-year Head Coach Jason Sleeth is making the move to the high school ranks after turning the middle school program around. In his first season at the middle school three years ago his team did not record a win and scored just one touchdown. Then two years ago his team showed some improvement before going undefeated a season ago.
“I started with most of these kids three years ago and we finally got things completely turned around last year,” Sleeth admitted. “We are entering this year with a nice core of seniors, most of which have two or three years of starting experience, a good group of juniors anchoring our offensive line, a very talented sophomore class with unlimited potential and a great freshman class with plenty of quickness.”
Sleeth inherits a three-year starter at quarterback in senior Everett Johnson (6-1, 215) with backup from former middle school starter freshman Toby Michael (5-10, 165).
Coach Jason Sleeth discusses the upcoming campaign
Another three-year starter leads the rushing attack with senior Zach Wise (5-8, 180) leading the way and freshman Karter Parson (5-9, 190) also seeing carries. Parson will also be utilized as a third-back at times with Michael a candidate at halftime along with classmates Tyler Sleeth (5-4, 115) and Jaxon Huggins 5-6, 175) also available.
The wide receivers will consist of senior Jeffery Morris (5-6, 145) and sophomores Brayden Bartrug (6-1, 185) and Josiah Morgan (5-9, 150). Battling for playing time will also be Sleeth and freshman Colt Sandy (6-0, 145). When the Hornets use a tight end the job will belong to Sandy.
There are plenty of returning starters and plenty of battles going on for the offensive line spots. Junior Aiden Britton (6-2, 225) is back at tackle with junior Mason Norris (6-0, 205) returning at guard and junior Frank Arachich (5-11, 295) back at center. Senior Brandon Cosgray (5-8, 170) is back and will be utilized at either guard or tackle with juniors James Patterson (6-0, 250) showing plenty of promise over the summer in his first year out.
Others battling include junior Jacob Merrill (5-11, 225), sophomores Michael Peraldo (5-9, 150) and Terry Greaver (5-8, 155) along with freshman Jaxon Huggins (5-6, 175).
Parson will handle both the punting and kicking duties.
On the defensive side the Hornets will be led by Bartrug, Johnson and Sandy at defensive end with Britton and Norris on the defensive wall. Parson and Michael will be at linebacker along with three-year starter Wise and Huggins. Battling for playing time at tackle will be Peraldo, Cosgray and junior Seth Michael (5-9, 150).
Morris, Sleeth and junior Koby Shreeve (5-9, 145) will be the corners with Greaver and junior David Morris (5-8, 155) at the safety spot.
Sleeth will be joined on the coaching staff by Nathan Huggins, Joe Rinehart and Jason Morgan, the only holdover coach.
“We are very excited to get this started,” Sleeth said. “I believe things are really looking up this year for us. The kids have bonded nicely since June and everyone has bought in to our program.
“With all the work we have put in I am hoping that it will reflect on the scoreboard. We have a nice, small community here that really supports this team and the parents and grandparents of the kids are amazing. Along with all of that we have rejuvenated facility and a really special group of kids that we are expecting big things from.
“We also still have a strong middle school group, so hopefully we can change the mindset here and also be good for the future. I honestly believe things are going to start paying off. We will ride our senior leadership and see what happens.
“Our first couple of games are going to be tough at Trinity and hosting Cameron and we know we will have our hands full. And while we are totally focused on those games our main goal is to be competitive. We are not expecting miracles in year one, but if we can get a couple of wins under our belt this year, work hard and compete it will be alright.
“After that we have a string of 4-5 games that line up a little better for us and could be what we need. The biggest key to this whole thing is staying healthy. We had a goal of 22 kids coming in and that is exactly where we ended up. But obviously health is going to be a huge concern if we are to get this where we want to be. These kids have not won in a while and we want to turn that around.”