Breakthrough season for Indians?Little Axe has high expectations for 2009 after returning 15 starters from last season’s 5-5 squad. Seven starters are back on offense, including quarterback Daniel Leonard, who threw for 1,159 yards and seven touchdowns as a junior. Leonard, a 6-foot-2, 220-pounder, also plays linebacker, a position at which the Indians are loaded. Junior Brandon Miller and junior Robby Dryden combined for 169 tackles. Dustin Hawkins, another linebacker, had 52 stops. The defense will be run by new defensive coordinator Jason Wheeler, who came in after years as an assistant for Norman. With the defense already proven and the offense bringing back so many starters, the only real question is how the offensive front develops. "We have a lot of returning skilled players, but (we’re) inexperienced on the line,” said coach Tony Smith. "The offensive line is young but talented.” The Indians won more games last year than they had the previous two seasons combined.
MILLWOOD A UNANIMOUS PICKDistrict 2A-2 coaches were unanimous in there selection as the team to beat. Millwood, which was 10-3 last season and reached the third round of the playoffs, was tabbed as the top team even though the team returns just four starters on offense.
JONES LOOKS TO CONTINUETo earn a playoff berth last season, Jones had to win four of its final five games. This year, the Longhorns expect to get off to a better start but also play with the intensity they closed with. With nine starters back on defense, including standout tackle Micah Thompson, Jones boasts one of the district’s best defensive units. The 6-4, 294-pound Thompson is being recruited by Oklahoma State and Texas Tech already, despite having two more years to play at Jones. Nathan Henthorn and Weston Frith, both senior linebackers, will form a stout wall behind Thompson. On offense, the Horns have four of five starters on the line back. They’ll lead the way for running back Kris Vaughn, who ran for 700 yards in 2008.
LEXINGTON CAN BUILD ON SEASONLast year’s school record 9-3 campaign and a playoff victory has Lexington thinking big again. And the Bulldogs have the firepower to return to the postseason. "Our strength is our experience on both sides of the ball,” said Lexington coach Brad Beller. And there’s a lot of it. Lex returns 18 starters. Four-year starting quarterback Seth Howard has thrown for more than 2,500 yards in his career and run for 2,000 more. And Howard will have a trio of proven runners with him in the backfield in John Somers, Travelle Pelkey and Steven Howard.
Breakthrough season for Indians?