HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Judson Treganowen has found himself in a unique position this summer.
With a large fist of upperclassmen passing through the Sacred Heart High School football team the past two season, Treganowen remains standing as the Crusaders’ lone senior.
“I do feel a pressure because I know these guys need a leader,” Treganowen said. “It’s a young group, but we’ve already had a couple young guys step up this year.
“I’m proud of those who did, for helping me lead this team in the right direction. I feel like we’re going to grow as a whole, and it’s just going to be good.”
Sacred Heart will need to grow quickly.
First-year coach Ed Smith, who served two years as an assistant with the Crusaders before Lonnie Schraeder retired shortly after the 2018 season, also has just three juniors on the roster with any playing experience.
“I knew the kids, so there really hasn’t been much of a transition,” Smith said. “We know our depth and inexperience are going to be our biggest problems. We’re really young. We’re probably going to start, at least, five or six players who have never taken a snap of high school football.
“The most experience we’re going to have is going to be on the line, where we have some sophomores who did play a good bit as freshmen. That’s basically where we have our experience. Our skill kids, we really don’t have anybody who’s taken any snaps.”
The 5-foot-8, 175-pound Treganowen, who was named Sacred Heart’s “Player of the Pine Belt,” is expected to appear a little bit of everywhere: Offensive line; linebacker; long snapper; backup tight end.
“He’s one of those guys who is a coach’s player, does everything you ask him to do,” Smith said. “He’s a kid we’re counting on for leadership. Tremendous effort in the weight room during the summer program. He’s one of those all-round guys who coaches enjoy having around.”
Treganowen said he was forward to his final go-round on the football field at Sacred Heart.
“I’ve known these guys at our school for, what, four or five years?” Treganowen asked. “I love these guys. It’s going to a be fun ride my last year, I can feel it.
“There’s talent. We might not be the most athletic group, but we’re going to have the most heart of anybody on the field, no matter what. It’s a young team, but we’ve got a lot of potential and I’m excited about what this season has to offer.”
Sacred Heart will open the 2019 football season literally across the street at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 22, at Presbyterian Christian School.