The defending Class 3 state champion Spoofhounds began practice on Monday.
In a sense, second-year coach Matt Webb and his team aren’t looking towards a repeat, they just want to “win the day.”
Even with the loss of 20 seniors, including seven offensive starters and six starters on defense, the team is even bigger than last season.
The roster had 59 players last year, including the 20 seniors. The first day of practice this year saw 77 players don helmets – 33 of them are freshmen.
“The young team is probably our biggest challenge,” Webb said. “But it’s also our biggest opportunity. Now it’s their turn to shine. They’ve known nothing but success, even before I got here.”
A quarterback battle is heating up, which is one of the few question marks for Webb and his crew.
After losing last year’s starter Jonathan Baker and running back Derek Steins – who combined for more than 50 touchdowns last season – Webb is still confident that whoever goes under center this year will fill the void.
As of now, Trent Nally, Dane Hull and Keston Oltman are working for the spot.
Brody McMahon - a first-team All-State selection last year, will more than likely carry the load in the ground game. He finished last season with 2,649 all-purpose yards and 28 touchdowns.
The Hounds went 15-0 last season, winning by an average of 36 points, which means many of the second-string players got plenty of reps.
As for the starters, they produced 4,276 yards on the ground last year, and the defense only gave up 8.7 points per game, 81 rushing yards and 85 in the passing game.
Those numbers may sound difficult to reproduce, but Webb liked what he saw from his 2013 team, but stays with the fact that this is a new year and last year has no bearing on the work that needs to be done.
Last season saw the second state championship in the last four years, marking the third in school history.
“I don’t think expectations are any different this year than any other year,” Webb said. “Just because we won a state championship last year, it doesn’t mean anything.”
As the younger players come into the program, Webb and his coaching staff see it as a chance to push even harder into their system.
“I was very pleased with the first day of practice, we operated very efficiently” Webb said. “I mean, it all comes down to fundamentals, and that’s what we do. If you tackle well, catch well, don’t turn the ball over, you’ll win some games.
Page 2 of 2 - “I believe God gives you opportunities in life,” Webb said. “It’s your duty to take advantage of them.”
This year's Jamboree is August 23. The Hounds will host Lawson for the first regular season game on August 30 at 7 p.m.