CENTERVIEW — Crest Ridge heads into the 2019 season with a newfound source of energy.

The Cougars will be under the direction of former Princeton High School head coach Thomas Hotmer after finishing last season 5-5 which featured a midseason coaching change and a first round exit in the playoffs.

Hotmer amassed a record of 16-9 in his two years at Princeton, leading the Tigers to a district title and a state quarterfinals appearance in 2017, going 12-1 as a first-year head coach.

Crest Ridge’s fall camp has matched the energy and intensity that Hotmer has brought to Centerview in early season practices, buzzing with a renewed source of purpose.

“I just love to go fast,” Hotmer said. “That is just in my blood. I don’t know why, I just love to get from A to B as fast as possible, but under control.”

That is the goal for the Cougars this season, get from .500 a year ago back to an I-70 title and district title contention.

“They bring the energy everyday and they are buying into our mission of getting better every single day, which will allow the results to take care of themselves,” Hotmer said.

How the Cougars get the results might look different on a week-to-week basis.

“We are a multiple offense, whether we have got to run the ball 50 times a game or pass it 50 or just be as balanced as possible,” Hotmer said. “Any way we can get an advantage is what we are looking for.”

Crest Ridge has the pieces to be a utility offense.

“The good thing is we have a lot of kids back from last year’s team,” Hotmer said. “A lot of sophomores last year, who are now juniors, got a lot of playing time.”

Junior Will Taylor returns for a second season as the Cougars quarterback and will have weapons in Jayden Ring, who Hotmer said they expect a lot out of this season, and new-comer Cole Schmidli to throw to along with tight end Blayne McMillian.

“Our skill position are ready to go, they are firing,” Hotmer said.

In the backfield, senior David Siegfried, junior Kole Conard and senior Dalton Renick are poised to split carries for the Cougars.

“We’ve got three good running backs who can rotate and keep each other fresh,” Hotmer said.

The line will be anchored by junior Jaron Terry, a Class 1 First-Team All-State selection a season ago.

“He is definitely a good skill kid to rally around on the offensive line and he does a really good job of communicating with the rest of the unit and trying to get them to learn,” Hotmer said.

Additionally, senior Zack Freeman, who Hotmer said has taken on a great senior leadership role on the offensive line, and Hunter Goddard will help pave the way for the Cougars offense.

“The offensive line is learning and getting a lot better,” Hotmer said.

On the other side of the ball, Crest Ridge is coming off a season where it allowed 23.4 points per game to opponents.

“We are going to be aggressive, great tacklers, everyone swarm to the ball,” Hotmer said. “But again, be multiple, be able to adjust to whatever the offense is throwing at us.”

Crest Ridge will take part in the Wellington-Napoleon Jamboree on Friday, Aug. 23, and then opens its season at 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 30, at home against Archie.

2019 Crest Ridge Schedule

Aug. 23 at Wellington-Napoleon Jamboree

Aug. 30 vs. Archie, 7 p.m.

Sept. 6 at Santa Fe, 7 p.m.

Sept. 13 at Knob Noster, 7 p.m.

Sept. 20 vs. Holden at 7:00 p.m.

Sept. 27 vs. Wellington-Napoleon, 7 p.m.

Oct. 4 at St. Paul Lutheran (Concordia), 7 p.m.

Oct. 11 vs. Sweet Springs with Malta Bend, 7 p.m.

Oct. 18 at Concordia, 7 p.m.

Oct. 25 at Lone Jack with Kingsville, 7 p.m.

Sports Editor Randy Speer can be reached by emailing randy.speer@dsjnow.com, by calling (660) 747-8123 or on Twitter at @RandySpeer_DSJ.

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