Thornton football gaining traction under second-year coach

Adam Hothersall
Special to Colorado Community Media
Posted 8/21/19

Prior to last season’s first win Sept. 21 against Littleton, Thornton football had fallen in 18-straight contests dating back to Oct. 1, 2016. With passionate Thornton alum and second-year head …

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Thornton football gaining traction under second-year coach

Posted

Prior to last season’s first win Sept. 21 against Littleton, Thornton football had fallen in 18-straight contests dating back to Oct. 1, 2016. With passionate Thornton alum and second-year head coach Nick Trombetta ready to improve, that was then, and this is now.

As potentially 24 seniors headline an experienced roster, the Trojans jump into 2019 ready to turn this program around into a competitive one.

“I’m really looking for them to advance the program forward a little bit,” Trombetta said last week in a phone interview. “With such a big class, it means we will probably be younger next year. So hopefully they (seniors) can show them (younger players) what expectations are and showing the right ways to do things. Showcase what the new brand of Thornton football will look like.”

With an offense ready to improve on 11.1 points per game mark last season, a new quarterback will lead the 2-back spread offense in senior Ethan Gonzales. The 6-foot-2-inch strong-armed QB is ready to prove himself as the play-caller after battling injury a lot of last season. In the backfield with him, junior Jaheim Young and senior Gustavo Campos-Sais will likely carry the load in the ground game with a couple of freshmen mixed in.

Defensively for the Trojans, this group could turn out to be the strength for this team after Trombetta stated: “we expect to be really strong this year.”

Anchoring this unit from all three sections of the defense will be the seniors of free safety Robert Banks, middle linebacker Fernando Paredes-Rodriguez and newcomer defensive end J.R. William. William will help lead a much larger defensive line for Thornton after coming from Texas as a transfer. Two other linebackers in senior Dalton Heller and sophomore Miles Poole will also be significant contributors in the 4-2-5 defense.

“Expectation-wise, we are really hoping to move the program forward. We went 2-8 last year, which by no means is good enough, but there was progress made,” Trombetta said. “We are definitely hoping to improve upon the 2-win season. We don’t know what that number of wins is going to look like, but we are much improved, I believe. I would anticipate against anybody we are going to be a handful.”

Beginning the regular season Aug. 30, Thornton will host rival Northglenn at Five Star Stadium at 7 p.m. Eager to snap a current 14-game losing streak to the Norsemen, the Trojans and Trombetta have circled this game on their calendar for months.

“Coach Dean is a fantastic coach, and in one way or another, I’ve coached against him for many years. We are very excited. We feel like we have the personnel to make it a real competitive game this year. The atmosphere we expect, especially with us being at home, is going to be electric.

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