Edmond North had one of the best defenses in the state last season, pitching four shutouts and allowing 18 or fewer points in 11 of its 12 games.
The Huskies finished 9-3, losing to Tulsa Union, 17-16, in the second round of the Class 6A playoffs.
Even though the Huskies lost a lot of talent on defense because of graduation, coach Jeremy Dombeck expects it still will be tough to score on Edmond North in 2012.
“We lost a lot of great players, but we feel like our system is in place” he said. “We know what kind of guys we like at each position. We feel like we've got a lot of talented players. It's just a matter of them doing it.”
The Huskies have earned a reputation as a punishing defense. It's something the Edmond North coaching staff has instilled in the program.
“It's kind of our overall philosophy,” Dombek said. “We feel if you play good defense and win the field position battles, you have a chance to win each and every ballgame. We set the bar pretty high last season, and we have challenged this year's team to be as good or better.”
The Huskies didn't lose everyone to graduation. Senior Brock Byford returns at middle linebacker, along with Curtis Woods, a three-year starter at cornerback. Andrew Dixon is a returning starter up front.
Luke Hoskins takes over at quarterback, and North will throw more this season. The Huskies only attempted 13 or 14 passes per game last season, Dombeck said.
“We are going to do things to fit our quarterback, and we feel we can maybe open some things up in the passing game,” Dombeck said.
“We don't throw it around a whole lot. That's not typical of our offense anywhere I've been, but (Hoskins) can make every throw. He gives us more options in the passing game.”
Hoskins barely lost the battle for the starting quarterback job last season and instead saw action at fullback and tight end.
“We are excited about him,” Dombek said. “He is such a great competitor and teammate. He could have hung his head very easily when he didn't get the starting job last season. He realizes now this is his team.”