NEWCOMERSTOWN -- In his first year at the helm of the Newcomerstown football team, Dirk Gadd is pleased with the effort from the Trojans so far in summer practices.

"I think we have put in a pretty intense offseason so far," offered Gadd. "It has been a little different for the kids, but they have responded well and we have had great turnouts.

"During the spring, the guys were coming into the weight room at 6 a.m. everyday before school," added Gadd. "All of our lifts were done together and the guys have really come together as a team."

Gadd, who was previously serving as a volunteer assistant for the team while teaching in the New Philadelphia school district, jumped on the head coach position when it became open.

"I was a volunteer assistant for the Newcomerstown football team the past two years," Gadd noted. "I was a defensive back for Muskingum University before hand so I was able to help the kids in the secondary."

Following some intense workouts through the spring and summer, the Trojans begin "two-a-day" practices this week.

"I think the guys are going to continue to see improvement, strength and growth," said the Newcomerstown mentor. "They have already experienced that during the weight lifting and I believe they will continue to do well."

Not only have the Trojan's impressed their new coach with their strength and dedication, but with their attitudes as well.

"All of the guys have great attitudes," exclaimed Gadd. "They are all coming together as a team and we have all really been pushing encouragement. Another great thing about this team is that they all want to be pushed and always want to improve."

From what coach Gadd has seen so far from the Trojans, he has a pretty good idea of what his team's strengths are and is already working on a game plan.

"It's no secret that we are going to try and run the ball," said Gadd. "but if we execute our plays offensively, we shouldn't be stopped, even if the defense knows what is coming.

"Defensively, we are going to be aggressive," he continued. "It is going to be a defense that I think the kids are going to have a lot of fun with. We also have a lot of experienced juniors and seniors returning to the offensive and defensive line for us, as well as some big athletic sophomores to play some of the skill positions."

With week one of the 2017 high school football season less than a month away, the Trojan's will be gearing up for a home game against Barnesville on Friday, August 25.

"Things are going great so far," Gadd concluded. "The guys are proud of the progress they have made and they know there is still a lot of work ahead of us before week one."