Pigeon Forge’s Troutman signs with UC Patriots
As an anchor for Pigeon Forge High School’s winningest class of football players, Daniel Troutman was an example of how to do things the right way.
“I can’t say enough good things about D.T.,” PF assistant coach Arron Maples said Thursday, as Troutman, his teammates, coaches and family gathered for a signing ceremony in the Pigeon Forge High library. “He was just a pleasure to coach. He did everything right. He’s a great guy, and I’m glad to have worked with a guy like him.”
Troutman signed a letter of intent to continue his football career with the University of the Cumberlands Patriots after he graduates from PFHS this spring.
A talented lineman, Troutman was among the Tigers’ leaders in tackles and sacks this season, despite missing three games with injuries.
He’s twice earned All-Sevier County honors, and, with 19 wins over the past four seasons, Troutman and his senior teammates rank as the winningest class in PFHS football history.
Those accolades earned the senior an offer last week to join the Patriots.
“Before the season I started talking to them, they called me, and I visited and really liked it,” he said of the school, which competes in the NAIA’s Mid-South Conference.
“Their campus is beautiful, and they don’t expect anything less than winning, and that’s why I want to go (there). I want to win. I’m a winner,” Troutman said.
“It was awesome. I could see myself the next four years playing ball there,” he continued. “And Coach (John) Bland’s an awesome guy. He was really nice, and all the other coaches were really nice.”
The son of John and Cheryl Troutman of Wears Valley, Troutman said he plans on majoring in education.
As for his position on the field with the Patriots, Troutman said it could come down to three spots.
“Defensive end, and maybe middle linebacker and long snapper,” he said.
Troutman said even though he’s leaving Pigeon Forge behind, he’ll never forget the memories he’s made with the Tigers.
“Coach (Lee) Hammonds and all the staff were great,” he said. “They taught me a lot of things that I can build off of and have a great life. There were ups and downs, but I learned a lot.
“I’ll never forget (beating) G-P junior year, and Coalfield junior year. That team my junior year (Pigeon Forge’s first winning season), I really enjoyed it. We were really a family.”
“He was a tremendous player,” assistant coach Travis Britton said.
“He’s a very coachable individual, and he plays his techniques well. He plays great technique football. Daniel’s a good leader; he was definitely a big senior leader for us this year.”