Q. How would you characterize this year’s team?
A. This is a hardworking team that has shown, thus far, the ability to stay focused on the small things.
Q. What will be the keys to your success?
A. 1) Health and depth. 2) Offense – ball control. 3) Defense – limit big plays. 4) Development of kicking game.
Q. Who will be your key leaders on the team?
A. Landon Allen (QB), Jahmyr Gibbs (RB), Hunter Noland (WR), Manny Vega (OL), Osbaldo Beltran (OL), John Ross (LB), Tyson Swope (DE), Gabe Hill (LB), Parker Adams (FS), and Malachi Gregory (DB).
Q. What are your biggest reasons for optimism?
A. We were forced to play a lot of young players last year, so we are returning multiple starters on both sides of the ball.
Q. What will keep you up at night?
A. Our biggest obstacle will be replacing the #3 kicker in the country, Ivan Mora. Our kicking game will have to develop as the season goes on.
Q. What can you build on from last year?
A. As mentioned earlier, a lot of young guys had to get game experience last year. This gives us a foundation to build on.
Q. Any lessons learned from last year?
A. Never take anything for granted and play with gratitude.
Q. Will we see anything different this year?
A. Offense and defense look the same. Special teams will have a lot of new faces.
Q. How would you characterize your team’s speed?
A. Overall, we have a good team speed, but when you play in this region, you’re always average at best.
As always, this team has an opportunity to be unique and special. Each game will be a building block for the next game, ultimately striving to reach our goal of being region champions. We must take advantage of every game and every practice to be the best that we can be. I’m confident that our coaches and players will do that.
Photos by Doug Smith