Third-year head coach Jason Webster noticed a lot more excitement around Capitol Hill football than there was this time last year.
The Redskins will primarily be fueled by a pair of two-way players, tight end-defensive end Marcus Williams and wide receiver-cornerback Denny Do.
Look to running back-linebacker Travaughn Jones to receive a majority of the carries.
“We'll look to those three skill guys in as many different sets and different ways as we can,” Webster said.
NEWCASTLE ADJUSTING TO NEW SYSTEM
Newcastle coach Keith Bolles has been impressed with how his players have adjusted to an entirely new system.
The Racers have switched to a 4-3 defense and with new offensive coordinator Scott O'Hare have embraced the multiple spread formation.
“I think it's progressing real well,” Bolles said. “The kids have really bought into to what we're doing and have shown a great growth in the last couple of months.”
Newcastle went 4-7 last season, but played most of the season without quarterback Casey Freeman. Bolles said Freeman, now a junior, is healthy entering the season.
PAULS VALLEY RETURNS 3 DEFENSIVE LINEMEN
Pauls Valley is keyed on stopping the run with three returning starters on the defensive line under first-year coach Bill Green.
The Panthers return seniors Braedon Carter and Colten Wimberly along with junior Ty Jordan up front.
Carter recorded 31 tackles and three sacks last season. Wimberly, a three-year starter, had 26 tackles and two sacks last season.
WAYNE RUNNING GAME LOADED
Lead by senior running back Louden Johnson, Wayne will rely on its power running game offensively.
“Louden is a kid that people love to be around,” said coach Brandon Sharp. “For as talented as he is, he's extremely humble. I think that helps our team with the younger guys looking up to him and enjoying being around him.”
Johnson, who rushed for over 1,500 yards last season, will share the backfield with returning starter Nathan Breuhl at fullback. The tandem will be running behind an experienced offensive line, lead by seniors Caleb Osborne and Alex Cheatwood.
The Bulldogs are coming off an 11-2 season, and enter the season as the coaches' pick to finish second behind Wynnewood in District A-5.
“We know we have to get a lot better to be able to compete in our district,” Sharp said. “But we feel good about it. We're looking forward to getting our there, and getting it going.”
DIBBLE WILL RELY ON JEVONS AGAIN
Dibble coach J.R. Conrad doesn't mince words when he talks about running back/linebacker Tazden Jevons, calling him the best player in school history.
Hard to argue his point, with Jevons coming off a season in which he rushed for over 2,000 yards and 33 touchdowns.
The 220-pound senior also anchors the defense at linebacker, while Braeden James picked off seven passes at free safety.
James, a junior, will be under center for Dibble, and Nick Hearon returns at fullback, where he pounded his way in for seven touchdowns last season.
BRIDGE CREEK'S FATHER-SON HANDOFF
This would be Jerry Wallis' 10th year as Bridge Creek's football coach.
Instead, after nine years watching from the sideline, Greg Wallis will take over the position for his father.
This is Greg Wallis' first head coaching gig. He was previously the Bobcats' defensive coordinator. Jerry Wallis is now the athletic director for Bridge Creek.
Yet the younger Wallis is definitely planning on implementing what he learned from his father into his new program.
“Hard work, perseverance, staying the course,” Greg Wallis said. “He taught me there are no shortcuts to running a successful program.”
* Noble must replace running back Jimmy Wood, one of the top backs in 5A last year, who led the Bears to a 5-5 season.
* Lexington coach Jeff Hall has high expectations for Jeron Hamm this season. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound receiver/defensive back has been a highly productive two-year starter who averaged 16 yards per touch last season.
*Jake Sheppard might only be a sophomore, but he'll be the focal point of the Little Axe offense this fall after starting as a freshman. The speedster qualified for the state track meet in the 200 meters last spring.
*Community Christian will lean heavily on 6-foot-3, 205-pound senior receiver Matt Borgerding in the passing game this season while sorting through a quarterback battle between junior JJ Cortez and sophomore Haddon McIntosh. Borgerding caught 22 passes for 381 yards and four TDs last season.