Davenport coach John Greenfield speaks highly of the Bulldogs' defense line entering this season.
Davenport is moving from the 3-2 formation to the 3-1, while returning junior Gary Schoefield and sophomore Tristen Wilbanks up front.
“Really it worked out pretty good,” Greenfield said. “We had a little trouble in the back end in the first scrimmage, but the other night against Allen we did really well. We really played hard and aggressive.”
Move-in Ethan Smith is also expected to start on the defensive line.
But the offensive line is just as experienced with senior center Jonathon Acord returning alongside senior Alex Rosado. Junior Braeden Wunderlich also returns at left guard.
The Bulldogs went 9-3 last season, one year after finishing as the Class B state runner-up, and are hoping their youth can carry the load this season.
Among the young cast is freshman Cade Harleso, who will start at tight end and safety.
“We're young, but the kids are having a lot more confidence in (the new defense) and being more aggressive,” Greenfield said. “Right not it's working pretty well for us.”
WILLIAMS LEADS TALENTED GROUP FOR WETUMKA
After going 11-1 last season, the Chieftains enter this season as the coaches' favorite to win the district title.
Senior running back Chase Williams is a good reason for that.
Last season, Williams rushed for 1,341 yards, caught 32 passes for 642 yards and accounted for 40 touchdowns.
But he isn't the only offensive weapon.
Senior tight end Johnathon Adams caught eight TD passes last season and also recorded 103 tackles at linebacker.
Senior quarterback Jake Briggs also threw for more than 1,300 yards and 23 TDs.
WELEETKA EXPERIENCED AT QB, RB
Weleetka coach Tony Hawkins believes his team is strongest at quarterback and running back.
The Outlaws return three-year starter Shaun Bencoma under center and Alan Harjo at running back.
Weleetka went 6-5 last season, but is now projected by the coaches for finish second in the district.
*Kaleb Kerley returns for Strother after leading the team in TDs, rushing yards and receiving yards as a junior.
*Keota's Seth Bryant is poised for a big season after rushing for 1,293 yards and 17 TDs as a sophomore.
District B-4 coaches' poll
1. Wetumka (11-1)
2. Weleetka (6-5)
3. Keota (9-3)
4. Davenport (9-3)
5. Dewar (7-3)
6. Strother (1-9)
T7. Cave Springs (3-7)
T7. Gans (4-6)
T7. Porum (3-7)
10. Bowlegs (2-8)
Note: Last year's record in parentheses