GOSHEN — The Goshen football program has endured some rough times in recent years.
Over the last two seasons, the RedHawks have only won three games, including a 1-9 record last year.
Goshen coach Kyle Park feels his team has the proper attitude to shake off past disappointments and improve on the field.
But is there enough talent and depth to show more positive results on Friday nights?
"To start with, we have a pretty strong senior class," said Park. "Overall, the guys are pretty competitive and done a really nice job of jelling and bonding during the offseason. I think the mindset is where we want it to be right now."
Park couldn't give a definite answer when asked if his offense or defense was ahead when it came to performance in preseason practices.
"It's hard to say because we have a lack of depth," the Goshen coach said. "Getting good-on-good in practice has been difficult.
"We had an intrasquad scrimmage (Aug. 9) and I thought both sides of the ball performed pretty well for this early in practice."
Park likes some of the pieces he has on offense.
One of those pieces is junior quarterback Colin Turner. Turner completed 60-of-106 passes for 723 yards.
"He's looking pretty good," Park said about his signal-caller.
Other impact players on offense are senior running back Bryant Grewe, senior multi-purpose player Wesley VanHooser, senior wide receiver Mason Schrock and senior offensive linemen Zach Swallow and Jose Rosales.
Grewe rushed for 574 yards on 122 carries with six touchdowns, while Schrock caught 18 passes for 171 yards. Playing quarterback, running back and receiver, VanHooser completed 19-of-49 passes for 143 yards with three touchdowns, rushed for 295 yards on 60 carries with three touchdowns and caught 12 passes for 64 yards.
"(Grewe) is going to have to carry the ball and be a workhorse," Park said. "He's going to be a starter on defense as well. We're going to have to find ways to spell him a little bit. He's a competitor.
"We've got a nucleus of (offensive) linemen back that solidify things up front. But what's most impressed me is our skill positions outside. That's where our depth is. These guys have taken it upon themselves to improve their ball skills, which at times I felt we lacked last year."
There are more questions on defense for the RedHawks. Among the players back from that unit are senior lineman Kaleb Kilmer (16 tackles), senior linebacker James Troyer (16 tackles), junior linebacker Isaac Sawatzky (15 tackles), Grewe at defensive back (50 tackles) and senior defensive back Derrick Miller (11 tackles).
"We don't have a lot back," Park said about his defense. "We're not going to be necessarily young. We're just going to be inexperienced. We'll probably go through some growing pains early on. But they're a good group of kids and they're working hard. Our defensive staff is instilling the right mentality with those kids."
Goshen is looking to snap a 13-game losing streak in the Northern Lakes Conference.
"It's going to be a meat-grinder every week like it always is," Park said about the NLC. "But our kids are excited and ready to hit somebody new."
2018: 1-9 (0-7 NLC)
Aug. 23: at Fairfield
Aug. 30: Elkhart Central
Sep. 6: Elkhart Memorial (C)
Sep. 13: at NorthWood (C)
Sep. 20: Concord (C)
Sep. 27: Warsaw (C)
Oct. 4: at Northridge (C)
Oct. 11: at Plymouth (C)
Oct. 18: Wawasee (C)