Washington was picked by the coaches to win District 2A-3 this season, just ahead of defending champion Lindsay.
The Warriors’ most pressing void to fill from a season ago is at quarterback, where Glenn Stowe is set to be the starter.
The 6-foot-2, 190-pound junior is replacing graduated standout Brock Harmon.
“Glenn had been a wide receiver for a long time, but we knew we’d have a day when we’d have to replace Brock, so we started working him at quarterback,” said Washington coach Brad Beller. “We’ve tweaked the offense a little bit, because Brock could do things that other guys just can’t do. Also, Glenn has a lot of veterans around him that can help ease him into his role.”
Those veterans include seniors Brady Kulbeth (WR/DB), Luke Ladlee (RB/LB), and Jake Massey (WR/DB).
“Those guys are home-run threats with a lot of speed,” Beller said. “They don’t have a lot of size, but they can really create big plays with their speed. They’ve also been playing since they were freshmen, so they understand the offense well.”
Washington finished as the district runner-up last season after falling to Lindsay in Week 10, a game in which Harmon suffered a significant knee injury.
OFFENSIVE LINE, QB LEAD WAY AT LEXINGTON
Lexington coach Jeff Hall expects the strength to come from an experienced offensive line led by three-year starter Tyler Brown.
The 6-foot-6, 300-pound junior will help provide protection for veteran quarterback Kyle Hokett.
The senior is entering his second season as the starter. He threw for 2,000 yards and rushed for 700 last season while leading the Bulldogs to the playoffs.
Lexington was picked by the coaches to make a return trip to the playoffs as the fourth-place team in the district.
RISING EXPECTATIONS FOR HOBART
Hobart returns several key pieces from last season’s 7-4 squad and has been picked by the coaches to finish third in the district.
One opposing coach even placed Hobart at the top of his district poll. The Bearcats returned to the playoffs in 2013 after a two year absence.
Among the top returnees are junior quarterback Kellan Smith and senior running back Aaron Hernandez.
Dibble free safety Braeden James enters the season with 15 career interceptions. James will also start at quarterback for a second straight season and is one of eight returning offensive starters. The Demons missed the playoffs in 2013 after ending the season on a five-game losing streak. … Lindsay will once again be led by quarterback Jake Standridge, who accounted for 2,673 yards and 34 touchdowns last season. … After consecutive seasons with at least 10 wins, Frederick fell to 4-7 last season. The Bombers will begin a new era under first-year coach Brett White, who comes to Frederick from Irion County, Texas. … Walters running back Kyle Graham will start for the Blue Devils after rushing for 734 yards and 13 touchdowns as a freshman last season.
District 2A-3 Coaches’ poll
1. Washington (8-3)
2. Lindsay (8-3)
3. Hobart (7-4)
4. Lexington (5-6)
5. Frederick (4-7)
6. Dibble (4-6)
7. Walters (2-8)
*Last year’s record is in parentheses