El Dorado coach Jared Anderson laid the foundation in his first year – somewhat painfully in a 1-8 season – but he found much to build upon, even in defeat.
The Wildcats mustered a lone victory, against rival Circle – but it was a convincing 39-7 triumph.
Another reason for Anderson to be optimistic were showings against teams such as Rose Hill and Hesston, falling by seven and eight points.
Anderson especially lamented the Rose Hill game as one that got away.
“We kind of shot ourselves in the foot,” he said.
El Dorado will be young, having graduated key players such as Travis House, Gage Armstrong and Isaac Johnson. But Anderson believes he has the talent to compensate for those losses.
“I believe we’ve got some good kids coming up to fill the role,” he said. “We’ve done some stuff this summer to build the leadership with the guys we have.”
Some of those players include sophomore quarterback Cade Morrow, who was thrust into playing time last season when House was injured.
“He got in some last year, and he was kind of nervous, so he’s already had those jitters,” Anderson said. “He’s not new to the deal; he’s a good leader already as a sophomore. He makes great decisions, and he’s a team guy, which I love.”
Morrow and running backs Dacota Motter and Kody Melugin will be running behind an all-senior line, anchored by Zac Ruff and Thad White.
With a tough schedule that includes Topeka Hayden and Andover Central, progress might be difficult for the young Wildcats to achieve.
“We’ve always been on the bottom rung for a while, but we’re trying to find a way to claw our way to compete with these guys,” Anderson said. “I think last year we got better from game to game, and hopefully we can build on that and run with it.”
TOP SKILL PLAYERS
|Sept. 12||at Augusta|
|Sept. 19||Rose Hill|
|Sept. 26||at Winfield|
|Oct. 3||at McPherson|
|Oct. 17||at Circle|
|Oct. 24||Topeka Hayden|
|Oct. 30||Andover Central|
Zac Ruff on his team