FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Kittleman sets bar high in 2020
Stephen Kittleman got his first taste of being the starting quarterback for the Jenks football team a year ago as a junior.
Now as a senior, Kittleman said he expects to have a breakout season in 2020.
“Last year was great for me being my first year starting,” Kittleman said. “I learned so much, way more than I thought I would, especially with starting 1-3 and getting injured. I really had to fight through some adversity. Not only did I find something out about myself, but from my teammates as well. I think we all grew from that experience.”
Heading into the offseason, the Trojans were among the favorites to bring home the gold ball in 2020. COVID-19 then reared its ugly head and changed how Jenks was going to handle the spring and summer workouts.
“We all know the offseason was different,” Kittleman said. “I think we all had the same goal, which was to get bigger, faster and stronger and build more chemistry and we did just that. It was everything we expected and more. We had the restrictions but accomplished our goal. It was a depressing feeling when COVID-19 hit. I was on the basketball team and we made it to the state tournament and on our way there, the tournament was cancelled. Everything that happened was pretty depressing, but we responded and handled it well.”
Kittleman said instead of sulking, the Trojans went to work and figured out ways to stay in touch and keep improving.
“We have great senior leadership,” Kittleman said. “We kept in communication with each other, so it went about as well as it could for us.”
The Jenks signal caller said the preseason went well for the Trojans.
“The preseason went well for us,” Kittleman said. “Especially at the wide out position. We had to fill some spots and some guys have really stepped up for us and have been working as hard as they possibly can. Our defense has a lot of returning starters, so I am really excited for them.”
Kittleman talked about what it is going to take to bring home a state championship this year.
“Every week, we have to stay focused,” Kittleman said. “We have to stay hungry. If we play Jenks Trojan football, be tough, be disciplined, we will be fine. Me personally, I just have to come out focused, watch a ton of film, make sure my coverage checks are good and pay attention to every rep, pay attention to how the defense is shifting and moving around. I need to know what matchups I have and be smarter with the football. I had a lot of turnovers last year and that hurt our team. I need to limit that this year.”