TROY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Troy Trojans are ready to kick off their 2019 season Saturday as they look to extend their consecutive seasons streak of 10 or more wins to four. This year they look to do it with a new head coach roaming the sidelines.
"It feels like we have been waiting a long time for the chance to play. Now that it has finally arrived, I know our players and our staff are very excited. I’m looking forward to getting on the field Saturday. We’ve gone through spring ball; we’ve gone through summer workouts, and just recently we completed fall camp. So, I think our guys are ready to play someone else and get the opportunity to compete,” said head coach Chip Lindsey.
Lindsey will lead the Trojans into battle for the first time as head coach. They open with the Campbell Camels, a program that’s on the rise.
“Campbell is an up-and-coming program and they have some really talented players. When you look at their roster and the type of team they’re building, I think they’re doing an excellent job. They’re a good-looking football team that is going to be excited to come here to Troy and play, so our guys are going to need to match that, which I think they will," said Lindsey. "So overall, it should be an excellent game on Saturday. And I’m looking forward to playing at The Vet and getting this going.”
While it’s not his first time coaching at Troy it’s safe to say he’s looking forward to Saturday like a kid looks forward to Christmas morning.
“Every night that I go to bed it means that we’re one day closer to the season arriving. It’s really exciting to me, because Troy is the first place that I was able to be a college football coach under coach [Larry] Blakeney," said Lindsey. "It’s an opportunity to coach in my home state, so it’s an honor to be the head coach at Troy. I’m excited to lead our team onto the field and watch them compete against another team. Obviously, I take a lot of pride in being the head coach here, and this is a great university. I’m looking forward to bringing them through Trojan Walk and getting out on the field and running through the 'T' on Saturday.”
Also making his return to Veterans Memorial Stadium will be senior quarterback Kaleb Barker, who suffered his season-ending injury last season against Georgia State inside the Vet.
“He’s a mature kid by nature, and I know he’s excited to get back on the field and get back going," said Lindsey. "This week, he hasn’t seemed very jittery to me. I think he’s in a good spot mentally and ready to get going.”
Barker is one of four Trojans Lindsey named as Captains of this Trojans team. Among the captains includes senior running back B.J. Smith and a pair of defensive standouts Melvin Tyus and Jarvis Hayes - two players who he looks to lead the Trojans defense.
“I think it starts with Jarvis [Hayes] and Melvin [Tyus], who are both captains for us. Obviously, Jarvis is our starting bandit, while Melvin will start at safety,” said Lindsey.
Also among those defensive standouts is Carton Martial who was a heavily-decorated freshman linebacker a season ago.
“He seems to make every tackle in practice so far, so I’m excited to watch him tackle the other team on Saturday,” said Lindsey of his sophomore linebacker.
Martial racked up 76 tackles, three sacks and forced three fumbles a season ago in his freshman campaign.
The Trojans and Camels kick things off at 5 p.m. Saturday from Veterans Memorial Stadium.