PRINCETON, Ind. (WEHT) – Jared Maners knows that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a football team.
Maners is entering his fifth season as head coach of Princeton, and he’s hoping to see the fruits of his labor this year. The Tigers have struggled recently, experiencing four-straight losing seasons, including a 2-8 year in 2020.
They’ve been beaten by the injury bug during that stretch, especially last season when the Tigers lost freshman quarterback Christian Schafer due to injury early in the year. However, Maners said his team will need to focus on only what they can control if they hope to get things turned around in 2021.
“Our biggest focus is on us,” he said. “We’ve had a bad habit of worrying about all the other alternatives to the game, but we’ve just got to worry about us and take care of the things that we need to get better at. If we improve those things, then we should see improvement on the field on Friday nights, and that’s where our focus us. Let’s fix us, and let’s get better and not worry about anybody but us.”
Schafer’s return to the gridiron should serve Princeton well this season. The team only recorded 613 yards passing last year and five passing touchdowns. Running back Ben Heidenreich’s departure will be a key hole to fill after the senior accounted for 814 yards and eight touchdowns last season.
While the Tigers will need players to step up, senior receiver John-Allan Malone believes they have the personnel to get it done.
“I think we’ve got a good team this year, now that we’re all set in stone,” Malone said. “We’re going to play pretty good this year. I think we’re going to come out better this year.”
The Tigers will open up their season on Aug. 20 at Forest Park.
(This story was originally published on July 22, 2021)