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Gentry Gears Up For Tough Challenge

Pioneers eye playoff berth in Paul Ernest’s second season as head coach

Paul Ernest, 2nd year at Gentry
2015 Record: 3-7
Returning Offensive Starters: 5
Returning Defensive Starters: 4
Offense: Multiple
Defense: Multiple
Key Players: JR Jon Faulkenberry QB, SR Cole Cripps WR/DB

GENTRY (KFSM) - Success hasn't come as often as the faithful in Gentry would like but the pieces could be in place for a potential postseason run in 2016.

The Pioneers return quarterback Jon Faulkenberry after he accounted for nearly 1,800 yards and 14 total touchdowns as a sophomore in 2015. Gentry returns nine starters, five on offense, and they hope that will be the recipe they need to advance to the playoffs for just the fourth time in the past 13 seasons.

"We might not be the biggest or the strongest or the fastest but if we can work hard and can do our techniques and everything we're taught to do, we'll stick it to those guys," Gentry senior Matthew Martin said.

Gentry started last season 2-0 before losing seven of their final eight games, including six of seven in the always tough 4A-1. The conference is again stack as three of the league members are in the 4A top 13 in the preseason poll. Getting past the likes of Shiloh Christian, Prairie Grove and Pea Ridge won't be easy but they're ready for the challenge.

"Gotta dig deep when it's getting tough. 4th-and-1 and you've got to cut somebody, you make sure you get through their knees," Gentry sophomore Garrett Hays. "You do what you need to do to get your job done and rely on your 10 other brothers out there to get their job done."