The Wichita Eagle and VarsityKansas gear up for the 2011 high school football season by presenting in-depth previews for 30 area teams.
“We come out playing (Salina) Central and Hutch. Some people don’t want to play tough games right away. But it’s going to give us a good indicator of where we are and what we need to improve on.”
AT A GLANCE
Last season: 5-5, reached first round of Class 6A playoffs
Last five seasons: 29-24
Projected 2011 playoff team? Yes
BEST SKILL PLAYERS
Tanner Greiving 5-10 170 WR Sr.Colby Liston 5-8 150 WR Sr.Tyler West 5-11 190 RB So.Dillon Call 5-11 200 LB Sr.
Clay Gordon 6-0 225 OL Sr.Randy Werdell 5-10 200 DL Sr.Logan Duff 5-10 245 DL Sr.Connor Littleton 6-1 215 DL Jr.
DILLON CALL ON HIS TEAM
What Derby does well: “I think our defense is going to be a really good strength. We all know what we’re doing now because we all have a year playing with each other.”
What has to improve: “I feel like we probably need to work on our focus sometimes. In practice sometimes, our defense thinks we’re doing really good so we start messing around a little bit and acting cocky. You can’t really beat the best of the best teams if you act like that during practice.”
Sept. 2 at Salina Central 7 p.m. L,42-27Sept. 9 at Hutchinson 7 p.m. L,42-14Sept. 16 Maize 7 p.m. W,27-24Sept. 23 Campus 7 p.m. W,40-6Sept. 30 at Andover 7 p.m. W,40-6Oct. 7 at Salina South 7 p.m. L,42-35Oct. 14 Southeast (at South) 7 p.m. W,47-14Oct. 21 East (at NW) 7 p.m. W,42-14Oct. 28 Heights 7 p.m. L,70-31
For the first time in Clark’s tenure, the Panthers don’t have a clear-cut starting quarterback. Instead of letting that become a problem, Derby views it as an asset, since it has three players, all with different styles and strengths, capable of starting behind center. That means Clark can utilize the offense in a way that will most benefit whomever is chosen to start.
The Panthers will quickly find out not only how good their quarterback play is, but also the strengths and weaknesses everywhere else in two difficult road games to start the season. Clark hopes those games will give Derby’s experience and vocal leadership a chance to shine. The Panthers feature a veteran defense with speed from the linebacker positions.
- Jeffrey Lutz