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HILLSBORO:   Season has special meaning for coach

Grieving coach
gets ready for tough farewell

Staff writer

Trojan football coach Demetrius Cox is eager to guide the team’s seniors through a final season as he braces himself as they get ready to graduate and leave.

It won’t be easy to say goodbye.

This year’s graduates were sophomores along with his son, Demarius, who died at 16 from an apparent blood clot in his lung.

This was supposed to be Demarius’ senior year, too.

“I truly feel deep down inside that this will not only be a challenging football season to coach but as a tough school year overall,” Demetrius said.

He is working to pass on hard-won wisdom about football and life to the Hillsboro boys as their coach.

“To me, football is more than a game, it’s more than winning or losing on Friday night. I want to use football to teach and provide kids with tools that would help them win in life,” he said. “It’s about teaching them the small things that tend to get overlooked by human nature because we allow a scoreboard to tell the whole story.” 

He still loves winning, however, and wants nothing more than to lead the team to a championship this year.

Cox plans to lean heavily on his upperclassmen to lead younger players and compete.

“This group of guys has some very high expectations on and off the field,” he said.

The Trojans are hungry to win league, district, and state titles after finishing 6-4 this past season.

“I do not believe those goals are far-fetched if they are willing to put in the workday,” he said.

Seniors Jaxxson Hanschu, Jamari Harris, and Matt Potucek stepped up Friday against Nickerson to grab a 50-22 victory in the teams’ season opener at home.

Harris ran in three touchdowns in the first quarter with 44 rushing yards and Potucek added two more with 43 yards in the second.

Hanschu made the all-star play of the night, running 78 yards for a touchdown.

Cox also expects great things on the offensive line from seniors Tristan Rathbone, Filow Cruz, and Eli Dalke and junior Lane Rogers. Potucek will continue to stand out as quarterback.

On defense, the Trojans will rely on a stable of all-league or honorable mention honorees that include seniors Tristan Rathbone, Garrett Helmer, and Frank Wichert.

Despite his high hopes for the Trojans, Cox said the team’s win-loss record would not determine its success.

Uniting another Hillsboro team in a brotherhood that pushes everyone to do their best both as individuals and as a team is his goal — it’s the Trojan Way.

“I know that, when the game is over, the scoreboard will go blank and that life goes on for those same guys that were playing on Friday night,” he said. “One of the things my son’s life has taught me is that people will remember a person’s character, not the final score.”

Last modified Sept. 8, 2021

 

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