AURORA CENTRAL TROJANS
Coach: Taylor Calvert, 2nd season
Last year: 2-8 overall, 1-4 in 5A Aurora League (missed 5A playoffs)
Players to watch: Jevin Jordan 5-foot-6, 180 pounds, LB, jr.; Deron Harrell, 6-2, 170, QB, soph.; Jaron Kellum, 6-2, 195, sr., WR; Taj Johnson, 5-9, 165, RB, sr.; Devonte Phillips, 5-11, 165, RB/WR/DB, jr.; Demetrius Jones, 5-9, 250, DL, sr.; Levi Watson, 6-4, 225, DE, sr.; Richie Cordova, 5-11, 225, DL, jr.
2013 outlook: Second-year head coach Taylor Calvert’s enthusiasm as head coach at Aurora Central hasn’t worn off. From the commitment he’s seen over the offseason, Calvert believes the Trojans will be “100 times better” than they were during last season’s 2-8 campaign, which marked a game improvement from the previous season. Making that seem like an even more reasonable goal, Aurora Central lost three games by a total of just 11 points. The Trojans have a lot of offensive production to replace — 95 percent of it, much from graduated running back Jeffrey Tootle (1,400 yards of total offense, 14 TDs) — but Calvert believes his new group of skill players is capable of being explosive. It helps that Aurora Central returns four of the five starters on the offensive line — including senior Demetrius Jones and junior Richie Cordova — which should be a major help for sophomore Deron Harrell, who is set to take the quarterback role vacated by graduated Manny Fernandez. The 6-foot-2, 170-pound Harrell has strength, speed and knowledge of the game and should allow Calvert to use a wide variety of plays, including possibly some read-option. Senior WR Jaron Kellum is a big target and speedy senior RB Taj Johnson and junior RB/WR Devonte Phillips should see plenty of touches. Stout junior Jevin Jordan is the rock in the middle of the defense and led 5A in tackles last season for an Aurora Central defense that gave up 34 points per game, 10 fewer per contest than in 2011. Jordan will lead the Trojans’ emphasis on running to the ball this season and back a line that includes a returning all-league selection in Jones, plus Cordova (5-11, 225) and Levi Watson (6-4, 225).
Quoting the coach: “We’re just really excited to get out there and show how the program has grown…Our league is shook up with a lot of new head coaches and systems and a lot of players graduated, so our schedule favors us big time. I say we’re 100 times better than last year, that means only four wins instead of two, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we are a .500 team.”
2013 schedule: Home games in all caps (played at APS Stadium): Friday, Aug. 30 — vs. Vista PEAK at APS Stadium, 5 p.m.; Friday, Sept. 6 — ABRAHAM LINCOLN, 6 p.m.; Friday, Sept. 13 — SMOKY HILL, 6 p.m.; Friday, Sept. 20 — at Thornton, 7 p.m.; Friday, Sept. 27 — vs. Rangeview at APS Stadium, 6 p.m.; Friday, Oct. 4 — vs. Gateway at APS Stadium, 6 p.m.; Thursday, Oct. 10 — ADAMS CITY, 6 p.m.; Thursday, Oct. 17 — DENVER EAST, 7 p.m.; Friday, Oct. 25 — HINKLEY, 6 p.m.
Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. Facebook: Aurora Prep Sentinel