Jonathan Alder football team must replace key players as preseason begins


Jonathan Alder quarterback Preston Eisnaugle (10) tosses the ball to running back Jamie Dye in this file photo from the 2017 season. The Pioneers must replace both graduated seniors as they open 2018 preseason practices on Monday.
(Journal-Tribune photo by Tim Miller)
Jonathan Alder High School head football coach Brett Glass will go into the start of preseason practice on Monday with the knowledge that he has to replace a couple of key offensive players.
Glass actually had that on his mind when the Pioneers went through 10 days of off-season camp earlier this summer.
“We have to replace a three-year starter at quarterback in Preston Eisnaugle and Jamie Dye, who was our top running back,” said Glass, as he prepares for his fifth season at the JA helm.
“We have a lot of competition to fill those spots,” said Glass, who guided Alder to an 8-3 record in 2017. “We’re going into preseason camp with a ‘two-headed’ quarterback race.
“J.T. Keith (a sophomore) and Jacob Fenik (a junior) are battling for the starting position,” said Glass. “Both are very good athletes. J.T. is more of a thrower and Jacob is more of a running quarterback.”
Glass said the coaching staff is looking at several candidates to replace Dye in the offensive backfield.
The Alder boss said his squad is where it should be heading into Monday morning’s first session of preseason practice.
“We had 10 good days of camp and we did pretty well during three seven-on-seven passing scrimmages we had this summer,” said Glass.
The Pioneers will begin their first day of practice with a weight-lifting session at 8 a.m. on Monday.
“We’ll be on the practice field from 9:30-11:30 a.m. and then again from 1-2 p.m.,” said Glass.
Alder has its eye on winning the Central Buckeye Conference title during its second season in the circuit.
“That’s something we weren’t able to do last year,” said Glass.
“We also want to expand on what we did in the playoffs,” he said. “We want to get beyond that one-game exit that we’ve had the last couple of years.”
With the graduations of Eisnaugle and Dye, Glass is looking for leadership from returning players.
“We’ve already named two of our four captains,” he said. “Caleb Howell (an offensive lineman) and Brennan Blaine (defensive end) have assumed those roles.
“We will name our other team captains at a later date,” said Glass. “We’re looking for guys to assume leadership roles and right now, that’s a work in progress.”
Glass is optimistic heading into preseason two-a-days.
However, there is a bit of caution to his voice.
“Right now, everyone looks good in helmets and shorts,” he said. “We’ll see where we are when we get started next week.”

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