Davenport returns seven of its eight offensive starters as the Bulldogs, ranked No. 3 in the preseason, look to get back in the mix for a Class B state championship.
Junior quarterback Hunter Reed, coach John Greenfield’s stepson, is back after rushing for 870 yards and passing for 1,655 yards last season.
Reed has a big target to throw to in sophomore tight end Cade Harelson (6-5, 190 pounds) who caught 12 touchdown passes last season.
At running back, junior Dom West and sophomore Nolan Nickell will share the duties.
Junior nose guard/offensive linemen Tristan Wilbanks (5-10, 235 pounds) is a two-year starter as are linebacker/H-back Gary Schofield (5-9, 185 pounds) and senior lineman Braden Wunderlich (5-10, 200 pounds).
“We do a lot of pulling and trapping, and (Wunderlich) does a lot of that,” Greenfield said.
DEPEW ADJUSTING TO EIGHT-MAN
After spending the past two seasons in Class A, Depew is returning to eight-man this season.
The Hornets made the playoffs in Class B four consecutive seasons from 2008-11 before making the jump to A and going 0-10 and 5-5.
The strength of the team will once again be the talented running back duo of Gabe Rains and Garrett Kissee.
Rains rushed for 1,285 yards and 16 touchdowns last season, and Kissee added 850 yards and 12 scores.
WELCH BRINGING IN STRONG UNDERCLASS
Welch has a blend of veteran seniors and potentially talented underclassmen as it looks to improve on a 2-8 record last season.
Seniors Cody Schultz (OL/DL) and Josh Orler (RB/DE) are the Wildcats’ most experienced returnees. Schultz is a three-year starter, and Orler rushed for over 1,000 yards last season.
While they have yet to start a game for Welch, sophomore Nolan Schaper (QB/DB) and freshmen Josh Baker (RB/DB) and Gunner Johnson (QB/DB) are expected to make an immediate impact.
Garber is considered the main threat to Davenport for the district title and received first-place votes from a couple opposing coaches. … Oaks will close out its season at home against Davenport, a game that almost certainly will have playoff implications. … Woodland hasn’t had a losing season since 2005. … Trenton Kallenberger, a former star player at South Coffeyville, is taking over as the Lions’ coach. … Watts ended the 2013 season on a two-game winning streak after losing 26 of previous 27 games. … Agra was designated to be in B-3 this season, but it will not have a team. The Bearcats forfeited every game after Week 3 last season due to a lack of players. Wesleyan Christian also will not compete in the district as the program has decided to go independent.
District B-3 coaches’ poll
1. Davenport (9-3)
2. Garber (6-4)
3. Depew (5-5)
4. Oaks (5-4)
5. Woodland (6-5)
6. Welch (2-8)
7. South Coffeyville (4-5)
8. Watts (2-7)
*Last year’s record is in parentheses