The Paradise Valley Trojans were one of the most high-powered offenses in 2015. Led by Washington-bound Daniel Bridge-Gadd, the Trojans were able to pick up yards in the blink of an eye. Key in on leading receiver Jacob Brown (good luck with that, by the way), and DBG had a plethora of other receivers to find down-field, or can use his own legs to churn out first downs.
The 2016 Paradise Valley Trojans will look a bit different: No Bridge-Gadd, no Brown and many of the other receivers have graduated. To be exact, 75.6% of the total offense and 91.9% of the receiving yards are no longer there. The leading receiver returning to the Trojans is running back Jared Beamon. Beamon might not have been the first name mentioned when the 2015 offensive stars came up.
But that doesn’t mean he wasn’t.
The junior rushed for 1,192 yards and found the end zone a total of 22 times. He was a leader on a very experienced team and emerges as the playmaker on offense in 2016.
“Jared has some skill sets that are beneficial to him, mainly his ability to lead. He was one of our captains as a junior last year. On that team, that’s a big deal,” Paradise Valley head football coach Greg Davis said.
While the Trojans had a very talented, experienced group last year, they return many key contributors including Beamon, linebacker Max Seifer, and quarterback Bric Hudnutt, who didn’t get many snaps behind Daniel Bridge-Gadd but was a part of the playoff run to the Division III state title game last year.
“Having guys back from a state title run is huge. We’re very proud of our state title run last year, we’re very proud of what we did, but they know as well as I do that this is a completely different team,” Davis said. “I love the guys that we have. Having a bunch of guys that were there last year and be by your side can really help you develop the younger kids very quickly.”
Beamon showed he was a leader on the field, and now he is trying to show that leadership by being more vocal in the huddle and film room.
“I’m a ‘show your work kind of guy’, but picking up on it, I’ve learned to start speaking up more often because that’s the type of thing this team needs,” Beamon said. “We’re a young group of guys and they need a voice to follow after. This is what we expect out of them.”
Beamon was the featured back in 2015, but will carry more of the load next season. Bridge-Gadd accounted for 30% of the team’s rushing yards, and the assumed starter Bric Hudnutt is more of a pocket-passer.
But Davis knows he has a versatile, reliable option in the backfield.
“His quickness and his speed are something that helps him get open in the pass-game, which we throw to him quite a bit,” Davis said. “When he runs inside the box, he has this ability to sneak through the cracks and get positive yardage as he goes. If he can pop to that second level, he has that ability to get going and go the distance.”
But Beamon is focusing on the team as a whole this offseason to make sure the Trojans are ready come September.
“(I am) trying to get these younger guys to learning what they need to learning, doing what they need to do, kind of get them assignments right now because when the season starts, we need everyone on the same page if we want to do anything this year.”