By Matt Gruemmer
It’s no secret throughout Des Moines that football teams in the Central Iowa Metro League set their pre-season goals at a very high level. This fact is no different for East High’s Greg Schoon who has set one tall task for his troops this upcoming season: Lead the state in turnover margin.
Coming off a 4-4 campaign a year ago that saw wide margins of both victory and defeat along with a controversial no-contest game with Ames that was erased from the record books, the Scarlets have a reason to believe their high goals can be achieved.
Des Moines East returns a plethora of talent on the offensive side of the football, including quarterback Jaron Turner who compiled five rushing and five passing touchdowns last season. Turner completed nearly 50 percent of his 151 passes in 2014, averaging 10.9 yards per completion for a total of 817 yards through the air. The Scarlets will utilize that experience in combination with nearly their entire starting line from a year ago to generate scoring in 2015.
Graduating four of its five leading tacklers, the team will need several players to rise up early to warrant defensive success. Linebacker Rory Walling led East as a sophomore in 2014 with 58.5 total tackles and 37 solo takedowns. Walling, along with three senior defensive backs, looks to lead the Scarlets in a league dominated by grueling offensive attacks.
With the depth of starters returning for Des Moines East, the biggest question that looms for Coach Schoon’s team is can they stay healthy enough to compete at a weekly level? The Scarlets anxiously await answering that questions in the coming Friday nights.
Des Moines East Stats
2014 record: 4-4 overall, 2-2 conference
Head Coach: Greg Schoon, 6th season, 20-28
Returning offensive starters
RB Brandon Trotter, SR
QB Jaron Turner, SR
G David Razo, SR
T Jared Hall, SR
T Zach Stemsrud, SR
G Anthony Arroyo, JR
G Case Tillotson, JR
WR/DB/Ret Gerald Sama, JR
Returning defensive starters
MLB Billy White, SR
OLB Austin Hunter, SR
OLB Rory Walling, JR
FS Hunter Kahler, SR
Total returning letterwinners: 6
Offensive Scheme: Spread
Defensive Scheme: 4-3
Team Goals: Improve on our offensive efficiency and lead the state in turnover margin
2015 Schedule (district games in bold)
08/28 vs. Des Moines, Roosevelt
09/04 @ Des Moines, North
09/11 vs. Indianola
09/18 @ Des Moines, Abraham Lincoln
09/25 vs. Southeast Polk
10/02 @ Ankeny
10/09 vs. Council Bluffs, Thomas Jefferson
10/16 @ Ames
10/23 vs. Sioux City, North