New-look VCC starts at home

by Tom Coombe
In many ways, the Vermilion Ironmen are starting over.
Second-year head coach Justin Kosik has revamped his coaching staff, retooled his roster and even started fresh with new uniforms for the 2019 season, which starts with today’s home title with two-time defending MCAC champion Northland, set for 1:30 p.m. at Ely School Stadium.
Only a handful of players are back from Kosik’s debut season,when the Ironmen suffered through a 1-7 campaign and dealt with injuries and roster turnover.
Depth doesn’t figure to be an issue this fall, with the Ironmen expected to suit up in excess of 60 players for the debut, including an array of new talent from Texas, Louisiana and Florida.
Kosik, a Texas native, also expects his team to take a new approach in 2019.
“We’ve increased our discipline and brought in a lot of good players,” said Kosik. “We’ve been tight on them as far as doing the things they should be doing, and hopefully we’ll see more discipline, more energy and hopefully see some good football.”
While newcomers will dominate the VCC lineup, the Ironmen will also get leadership from those in their second year with the program.
Those players include running back Ty Williams, who ran for about 200 yards in 2018, as well as second-year receiver Damon Dunn, who has also been part of VCC’s basketball team.
Sophomore David Rush moves from the defensive line to linebacker this fall, while Onterial Smith and Christian Bisby are back after helping the VCC defense a year ago.
Jaleel Hansberry saw limited duty because of injuries, while Kosik also is looking for big things from Murphy Theodore and Widly Francois, who both were with the program last year but gained eligibility in 2019.
Add receiver Jeremy Seadorf and linemen Austin Roether and Casey Holman to the mix, and there are a few VCC players who bring collegiate experience to the mix.
The newcomers include numerous players who are coming to Vermilion right out of high school, and others who were at other college program.
Running back Ty Edmonds could make an immediate impact for VCC after stints at NCAA Division I schools Memphis and Arizona State.
Kosik is also looking for big things from linebacker Leroy Bolden.
VCC has depth at receiver and boasts one of Louisiana’s top prep pass catchers in Davion Sanders.
The schedule makers did VCC no favors for the opener, with Northland coming to town after winning the state title in 2018.
Kosik, however, says he has his team primed to go after nearly three weeks in training camp.
“I seriously expect my guys to go out and open some eyes and show they’re here to play,” he said.
VCC has four home dates at Ely School Stadium as part of an eight-game regular season schedule.
The Ironmen host Rochester Sept. 14, Mesabi Oct. 5 and North Dakota-Bottineau Oct. 19.