Preseason football: Arcanum Trojans

Jason Schondelmyer (with ball) is in his second season as Arcanum’s football coach. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Combined ShapeCaption
Jason Schondelmyer (with ball) is in his second season as Arcanum’s football coach. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Team: Arcanum Trojans

Division/Region: D-VI, Region 24; no change from last season.

Affiliation: Cross County Conference.

Location: Booster Stadium, Arcanum.

Head coach: Jason Schondelmyer, entering eighth overall years as the Trojans' coach and second straight season. In his second stint as Arcanum's coach, he also was the Trojans' coach from 1999-2005. Combined 53-29 record at Arcanum and 77-66 overall. Since leaving Arcanum, he was the head coach at Versailles, Twin Valley South and Tri-Village and an assistant at the University of Dayton (2011-12) and Alter, including the D-IV state runner-up Knights in 2014.

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Last month Schondelmyer was approved as Arcanum’s athletic director, a position he also had during his first term. He succeeded Brian Sprada, who left Arcanum to become the AD at Brookville.

Assistant coaches: Jason Stephan, OC; Greg Hale, OL/DL; Eric Wolfe, LB/SE; Patrick Couch, OL/DL; Theo Whitaker, FB/DL, special teams coordinator; Justin Brandenburg, Trojan/TE; Thomas Kessler, volunteer; Jim Oberer, K/P.

2017 records: 4-4 CCC, 4-6 overall.

2017 highlights: Trojans successfully rebounded from a 1-5 start by finishing 3-1. Arcanum takes a two-game win streak into its opener against D-V non-league and visiting heavyweight Greeneview (10-1).

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Special teams were a boon, producing five punt returns for TDs. Graduated senior Daniel Coats etched his name in Trojans lore with 40 carries for 316 yards rushing in a 37-8 Week 10 defeat of Tri-Village. That surpassed the previous single-game Trojans record of 306 yards by Kyle Fledderjohn.

Developing a new go-to backfield will be a priority, because Coats accounted for 1,135 yards rushing.

Key returners:

Dane Craport, 6-1, 200, sr., DE/OT/P/HBLOS, 18 sacks, first team All-CCC.

Austin Fourman, 6-0, 190, sr., RB/DE.

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Jayden Heltsley, 6-5, 285, jr., OG/DT, second team All-CCC.

Devin Keckler, 5-9, 180, sr., LB/RB, leading tackler last season.

Cory Ross, 5-9, 190, jr., FB/LB, missed most of last season with injury.

About the Trojans: Schondelmyer's return has recreated a buzz for Arcanum football at the Darke County village. Numbers are up and interest is high, two key ingredients to a successful program. But challenges remain.

Arcanum hasn’t fielded a winning team in a decade, since the 2008 Trojans were 6-4. Their last playoff season was in 2005 under Schondelmyer. To contend for a CCC title and advance to the postseason, Arcanum must break through high-end rivals Bethel (9-2) and Miami East (9-2) and even Covington (5-5) can’t be counted out, despite coming off a rare non-playoff season.

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Because of the CCC schedule rotation, Arcanum will not play Fort Loramie (8-3), which is in its second season in the conference.

The sizable Heltsley should separate himself as a dominant CCC lineman and is key to the run-heavy offense. He’s drawing recruiting interest. Craport was among the conference’s best disrupters at middle guard. The return of a healthy Ross is a bonus.

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No schedule change. Like most CCC teams, Arcanum will lean on two-way players. As always, staying healthy and developing depth is a priority.

Schedule: All at 7 p.m.

Week 1: Fri., Aug. 24 GREENEVIEW

Week 2: Fri., Aug. 31 at National Trail

Week 3: Fri., Sept. 7 ANSONIA

Week 4: Fri., Sept. 14 at Bradford

Week 5: Fri., Sept. 21 COVINGTON

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Week 6: Fri., Sept. 28 at Bethel

Week 7: Fri., Oct. 5 TRI-COUNTY NORTH

Week 8: Fri., Oct. 12 at Miami East

Week 9: Fri., Oct. 19 at Mississinawa Valley

Week 10: Fri., Oct. 26 TRI-VILLAGE

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