Carthage looks to tackle high expectations in 2019

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CARTHAGE, MO — Carthage reached the state Final Four for the third time in four years last season, and though they came up short, the expectation is to contend once again in 2019.

“But I can just feel it last year in that game,” Carthage junior quarterback Patrick Carlton said. “We’re going to be coming up this year and we’re going to be ready.”

Six starters return on offense including Carlton. Carlton shined while filling in for injured starter Zeke Sappington, throwing more than 1,100 yards and 14 touchdowns. Coach Jon Guidie expects him to be even better this season.

“He made some huge strides this summer in 7-on-7 and in camps, and in our passing leagues,” Guidie said. “Just even out here in practice, and gaining some experience in leadership. We’re expecting big things out of Patrick.”

No more Jayden Morgan at wide receiver, but the team expects to have plenty of options for Carlton to throw to with Trulyn Kendrick, Marcus Huntley and Alex Martini seeing more touches this season. All-COC running back Tyler Mueller is also back after a 15 touchdown campaign, giving the team a balanced offense.

“Tyler is a dog,” Carlton said. “He’s definitely going to have a big year this year. We’re both going to work, and we’re both going to get better and have a great year.”

Carthage expects its defense to be rock solid again after allowing just 15 points per game last season. The Tigers have climbed the mountain and but haven’t reached the top.

“Just having that mindset and we’re going to train in the offseason, and put ourselves in a little better position, and maybe the outcome will be a little different.,” Guidie said.

Carthage begins their season on August 30 against Nixa.

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