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Trusty excited about receiving core 8/15/22

Trusty excited about receiving core

By Kevin Taylor

Alma Schools 


Joe Trusty’s biggest off-season loss may be his biggest gain. 


In 2021, Trusty threw for 2,192 yards and 19 touchdowns. Of that, Conner Stacy accounted for 1,306 yards (a single-season school record) and seven touchdowns. 


The advantage?


Trusty believes opposing teams won’t be able to concentrate on one player. 


"I think it will help us," Trusty said. "Last year I would just throw it up and he'd (Stacy) go get it, and then they (opponents) would put two guys on him. This year, they can't double-team all four of our receivers — somebody's going to be open."


Two of Trusty’s biggest targets, Stacy and BriLee White, accounted for 1,899 yards and 15 touchdowns. Matthew Schlegel is the team’s most experienced returning receiver with 14 receptions for 114 yards and a touchdown. 


Derek Hatcher, who caught 12 passes for 105 yards, is out until at least late October with a shoulder injury. 


Senior Shawn Rankins and juniors Drake Stogsdill and Jackson Daily may not be on anyone’s depth chart yet. But Schlegel contends the trio is more than capable. 


"I think that's going to be a big thing for us," Schlegel said. "They (opponents) can't just concentrate on one thing. Joe is really strong, and all four of our receivers are strong. I think our defense is a lot stronger than last year, too."


Trusty also completed 12 passes for running backs Brady Noyes, Reagan Birchfield, and Dylan Flanagan last season. The big quarterback also ran for 554 yards and six touchdowns. 


The Airedales are less than a week out from opening the 2022 season with Van Buren. The teams have met every year since 1971 and 53 times since 1962. 


The Airedales hold a 26-25-2 mark over that time. 


"We're just trying to get everything in for Van Buren," Trusty said. "Offensively, we've come a long way from last year. We're going to be able to spread the ball out a lot better than we did last year. Again, we don't have Conner this year, so I can't just throw it up to him. But I have four receivers who I trust to throw the ball to whoever is open."


"First of all, we want to beat VB — the first game in the whole state of Arkansas," Schlegel said. "As far as other non-conference games, we just want to go out and compete and get ready for conference."