FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) - Northrop High School's football team has already faced adversity this season, long before the first game.
Quarterback Colin Brockhouse tore his right elbow in July, requiring season-ending Tommy John surgery.
Enter John McKinney, a senior who has learned ride along side Brockhouse, now thrust into the spotlight.
"John's the next best thing," running back Trevon Wilson says. "He's mobile. He knows the offense, since he's played behind colin all these years. Now it's his time; and he's definitely ready."
It sucks to understand that I'll never put on the helmet and shoulder pads on Friday nights. But the positives lie ahead of me.— Colin Brockhouse (@C_Brock15) August 9, 2013
Northrop will rely on an experienced defense to hold on to leads and to keep the offense in games.
"We're not scared of anybody this year," defensive end Austin Pearson says. "Last year, we had some plays wehere we gave up, and it really hurt us in the long run. This year, we're going to play until the end of the whistle. Everyone's going to hustle to the ball, no matter what. Nobody's going to back down."
The Bruins will play 25 seniors, one of the biggest groups the school has seen in years. Head coach Tim Martone says the senior class will play a big part in developing the younger guys.
"Getting the timing down. Getting some depth established," Martone says. "Always working on senior leadership, but I'm seeing good things of that early; that's good, too. There's so many things, as all coaches know, we've got to work on before that first game."
Between the Summit Athletic Conference schedule and a move to the newly formed IHSAA Class 6A, Northrop will once again face steep competition. But another offseason of hard work could be a differencemaker for the Bruins this season.
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