Memorial football sets high expectations for returning leaders

Memorial football sets high expectations for returning leaders
Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 12:57 AM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - The Memorial football program is coming off a dominant 11-3 season, falling just one game short of the 2021 state championship game.

Memorial head coach John Hurley has led the Tigers to great success over his 15-year tenure. In the last five seasons, Memorial made it to three state title appearances. The last time the program won state was back in 2019 – when the upcoming group of seniors were only freshmen.

“I think the strength in our team is going to be our offense, running behind the big offensive linemen, not everyone has got big offensive linemen like we do,” Memorial senior wide receiver Hugh Pearce said. “ Edward Hartig, he’s committed to Miami (Ohio) – he’s our biggest guy. The last couple years our main focus has been starting off early, we always finish well. But starting early, we need to establish our force early and often.”

Caleb Ellspermann returns for his final year at quarterback, along with a good core of returners who understand the expectations of the program.

Memorial lost key running backs Xavier Tyler and Ray Brodie, who rushed for a combined 2,087 yards their senior season. Hurley said the focus is not just on replacing them, but also on working to understand each person’s role as it pertains to this season.

“Coming into the season, you know, you got to stop the run and that’s got to be a focus for us, stopping the run, and then offensively we need to be able to run the ball,” Hurley said. “I think last year as the year went on we got better at it. Our focus right now is getting ourselves organized, figuring out our roles.”

The Tigers head to Jasper to face the Wildcats in Week 1.

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