SHAWNEE — After two challenging seasons at the Class 6A level, Shawnee is back where it wants to be in Class 5A, and the timing is good for coach Billy Brown and the Wolves.
While Brown has some experienced players to work with, particularly at the skilled positions, and 15 returning starters in all, he has intentions of starting a sophomore at quarterback — a plan that could have turned out poorly against opponents like Jenks and Broken Arrow.
John Jacobs, a 6-foot, 190-pound sophomore will get the call behind center, and he'll have a variety of talented options in the passing game, starting with seniors Theo Berry and Wolf Kienzle. Add in junior Kendall Gilbert, a big target at 6-foot-3, 185 pounds, and Jacobs has some experienced pass-catchers around him.
Each of the three wideouts had at least 20 catches and more than 500 yards last season.
A couple of young players, junior Brett Harris and sophomore Shade Franklin, will get carries at running back with senior tackle Landon Green anchoring the offensive line. Greene also plays a key role at defensive end, while Kienzle and Berry provide pass coverage at the cornerback spots.
Shawnee will spend a lot of time on the road early, with only one of the first four games away from Shawnee. But the reverse is true at the end of the season, with three of the final four at home.