As the Cedarville Pirates begin their season the team will rely upon the players in the trenches: the offensive and defensive line.

“We have about eight or nine kids who will play up front for us,” said coach Max Washausen. “With the type of offense we use, it’s very physical and we would like to keep them fresh.”

Washausen said the team did well in the scrimmage against Quitman, but the test began last night with Class 4A Berryville.

“It used to be that we didn’t have any problems finding someone to play us in a nonconference game,” said Washausen. “Now, we’ll have to drive two or more hours to find someone. We did what we thought we could do against Quitman.”

Cedarville led 34-7 by the half of the live portion of the scrimmage.

“There’s still a lot to clean up but I was really impressed with how we did,” Washausen said. “These linemen are strong. Taylor Humble is one of our strongest players and Max McGill is strong as well. Both Elijah Cox and Landon Hopewell are athletic linemen. Elijah is so quick after the snap you almost think he’s jumped offsides.

“We’ll be using these guys on the defensive line so it’ll be important for us to keep them healthy and fresh.”

Taylor Humble, Senior (5-8, 236)

“I don’t think I have not been able to play football and I just can’t imagine not playing.”

Expectations for the season

Winning the conference and going on to play for a state championship. “We’re more dependent of each other and we tend to play for each other more. We’re going to take it play by play and game by game. We have to have respect for the other team and play by the rules.”

Landon Hopewell, Senior (6-3, 250)

The youngest of three brothers and the smallest.

“Being the youngest was rough, but it makes me want to work harder. We’re all working hard each week to where we want to go.”

Expectations for the season

“We had a good team last year with a lot of skilled guys. Now we have the skilled guys with a lot of heart an dedication. I’m looking forward to playing Charleston again. It was close last year so we’re ready for another shot.”

Max McGill, Senior (5-8, 185)

“I’m just glad not having to do this online. This has been good. You don’t know when it’s going to be your last game on the field. So you have to make each one count.”

McGill got into football in the seventh grade because he wanted to lift weights but found himself coming back year after year. “Getting to hit people is great. I really like that.”

Expectations for the season

“I expect us to be conference champs and host a playoff game. [Which has never happened for Cedarville.] It’s been talked about a lot. We hope to have a lot of firsts this year. We all get along and we’re all good friends. We may not be the biggest, but we’re going to be the most aggressive and try the hardest.”

Elijah Cox, Senior (6-5, 158)

“My mom and dad got me into football and I just started to enjoy it more and more. I don’t have any plans to play past high school, so I’m having a great time now.”

Expectations for the season

“We definitely want to win conference and go all the way. Every time we get on the field we want to get the win. We have really good team chemistry and things just click for us.”

Harlyn Hodgson, Junior (5-10, 193)

“My brother played football and convinced me to give it a try. I say ‘brother’ but he’s really my cousin (David), who’s been like a brother to me.”

Expectations for the season

“I feel like we did alright in our scrimmage but I know Berryville is going to be bigger and stronger. We’re really motivated this season. We just have to keep our confidence high and hope we can move onto state. That would be nice.”

Nathaniel Smith, Junior (5-9, 157)

“Football is a good way to get anger out. These people here is like a second family for me.”

Expectations for the season

“The key for us is to never give up. No matter how rough it gets, we have to keep going. We all have the same mentality. We all want to win.”

Jace Baker, Sophomore (5-10, 140)

“I really like playing football. I never really thought about why I like it, I just like the hitting.”

Expectations for the season

“I expect us to be conference champs and going onto state. I’m always looking forward to the next game. Just to see how we play and match up against them. Each well will be a test and when that’s over, we go onto the next one.”

Montana Wesley, Sophomore (5-8, 140)

“This is just the right team. We’re all close together… just a bunch of people playing a game they like. I try my best and give it my best shot for the team.”

Expectations for the season

“We want to be our best and be ranked No. 1. We’re gonna require us to win every game, but we just have to take one game at a time. We all have to do our part. We have the drive and effort to do it.”

Luke Mallow, Sophomore (6-0, 228)

“It’s been pretty good. I like having fun and doing teamwork. I just have fun playing football.”

Expectations for the season

“It’ll be great to be conference champs, for sure. I think we know we’re good enough to do it. We just get each other. We know if someone makes a mistake, we’re there to help them and motivate them.”

Nathaniel Smith, Junior (5-9, 157)

“Football is a good way to get anger out. These people here are like a second family for me.”

Expectations for the season

“The key for us is to never give up. No matter how rough it gets, we have to keep going. We all have the same mentality. We all want to win.”