Rocky Martin played linebacker at Colorado State. He was a linebackers coach when he came to Putnam City West as an assistant a few years ago.
And that position looks to be the strength of the Patriot defense as Martin enters his second year as head coach.
A trio of senior linebackers are among the six returning starters on the PC West defense. That includes 6-foot, 210-pound Caleb Sturgeon, who had 85 tackles last season. Doug Jones and Loyd Spaugy return as well.
PIEDMONT'S QUARTERBACKS ARE BACK
Piedmont senior Brett Adams may feel more at home back at his original position this year.
Adams made the switch last season from defense to quarterback after both of the Wildcats' quarterbacks suffered injuries.
Neither saw significant playing time.
Lucas Richert tore his ACL during a summer league basketball game, and then Josh Hampton broke his collarbone in a scrimmage. Richert will be the starting quarterback, and Hampton will serve as a wide receiver and backup.
“We're excited about having two quality guys back to run our offense,” Piedmont coach Craig Church said.
The Wildcats went 4-6 last season but return nine starters on defense, including Adams at outside linebacker.
WESTERN HEIGHTS LOOKS TO UPPERCLASSMEN
After an 0-10 season, the only way to go for Western Heights coach Edward Polly and his Jets is up.
Polly will look toward two juniors and two seniors to be the difference-makers of his young team.
The Jets will be led by junior quarterback James Lewis, junior defensive tackle Cody Young, senior linebacker and offensive lineman Ernesto Hernandez and senior wide receiver and defensive back Jahwan Woods.
Of Lewis, Polly said, “nobody works harder.” Polly called Hernandez a leader and a “do everything” kind of player. He said Woods is a utility athlete and Young is “D-I material if he plays. He can be a beast if he wants to be.”