Since being bumped up to the first division of the Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail League two seasons ago, the Newton football team has won one league game.
“That has to change,” long-time Newton coach Brent Glann said. “We have to gain confidence, but we have to win games to gain confidence. We have guys that haven’t played on winning varsity teams, but our guys are working hard. All it takes to turn things around is one win.”
Newton was on the cusp last season, but lost three games by a combined 11 points and finished 3-6. Glann believes all it takes is reversing one of those outcomes to jumpstart a season.
“It’s definitely a mental thing with us right now,” senior Coleman Kingsley said. “Last year we had three games we just kind of threw away. We have to start finishing games.”
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Kingsley is the cornerstone of the offense, a rarity in being a three-year starting quarterback who accounted for 1,789 total yards last season. He will be surrounded by his most talented cast, including tailback Seth Hill and receiving targets Cory Martens, Jordan Johnson and Dylan Moore.
“Coleman understands what this league is about and what it takes to win,” Glann said. “Our offense is very QB-driven and there’s a lot of pressure on him to make the right reads. But it comes in handy when everyone trusts him and everyone knows he’s the guy.”
Scoring points hasn’t necessarily been the issue though, it’s been the defense in the past two seasons, which Glann describes as “awful.”
A new district presents new hope for returning to the playoffs, a place Newton hasn’t been since 2009. But to challenge for a spot will require an overhaul on defense.
“It’s mostly just changing the overall attitude,” Glann said. “We didn’t want to change schemes completely because they’ve done that several times before. It’s more about understanding the level it takes to win games, and that’s obviously still a work in progress until we see that success.”