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Pigskin Preview: Penn High School

Penn Football// Adam Derengowski

Cory Yeoman couldn't hide his enthusiasm as he began his 14th season as head coach at Penn high school.

"I feel like a 7 year old kid on Christmas morning," Yeoman says, smiling. "There's a buzz in the air; excitement in the air, and the unknown."

The unknown is what makes each season challenging and fun. The Kingsmen are coming off of a state runner-up finish in 2015, but much of that nucleus is gone. They return just seven starters on defense and four on offense.

"We had a great group of seniors last year," Yeoman recalls.

"You don't pull off what those guys did well without senior leadership and to be honest that's what's on this new group. You know who you have coming back and we don't have coming back but to me as a head coach my biggest concern is that component, I mean how are your captains going to lead how are our seniors going to take this team to the next level and how are they going to be able to respond when things get a little bit rough."

So far in Yeoman's tenure at Penn, the Kingsmen have been able to rise to the challenge more often than not.

They've played in the semi-state seven times in 13 years, and they've lost just 7 total games over the past five seasons.

"Our seniors last year left us a good example on how to lead," says current senior defensive lineman Nate Boone.

"We got punched in the mouth a lot of times last year and that's one of the things we had to work with. Even when we get down we have to get back up. "

"That's something that we really carried with us this year: If you mess up on a play you got to get right back up and do it right."

Penn opens the season August 19th at Freed Field against Valparaiso.



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