The Wichita Eagle and VarsityKansas gear up for the 2011 high school football season by presenting in-depth previews for 30 area teams.
“When you have a transition that’s taking place, you’re just hoping that kids can pick things up and pick them up in a hurry and be ready to go.”
AT A GLANCE
Last season: 4-5
Last five seasons: 21-28
Projected 2011 playoff team? Yes
BEST SKILL PLAYERS
Blake Pontius 6-2 194 QB Sr.Drew DeOrsey 6-3 187 WR Sr.Ryan Hall 5-9 165 DB Sr.Lucas Larkin 5-10 206 LB Sr.
Blaise Fountain 6-0 256 OL Jr.Joseph Hamer 6-0 235 OL Jr.Matt Mar 5-9 245 DL Jr.Colin Nitcher 5-8 175 OL Jr.
BLAKE PONTIUS ON HIS TEAM
What Maize does well: “We have more speed. Our defense has more speed, and our offense. We’re running a new offense, and I think with this new offense we’ll have more opportunities to get more plays in, have more chances to score. We’re going to be quicker paced through the game.”
What has to improve: “We’re still trying to figure out our play-calling. That’s one of the bigger things we have to figure out, how to get the plays in. This new offense is new to everyone. With a new coach, everyone’s new to it, so we’re just all learning together and trying to get it right.”
Sept. 2 Newton 7 p.m. W,34-6Sept. 9 Campus 7 p.m. W,21-0Sept. 16 at Derby 7 p.m. L,27-24Sept. 23 Andover 7 p.m. W,7-3Sept. 30 at Salina Central 7 p.m. L,10-3Oct. 7 at Hutchinson 7 p.m. L,47-7Oct. 14 Garden City 7 p.m. L,28-10Oct. 21 at Dodge City 7 p.m. L,48-14Oct. 28 Goddard 7 p.m. W,24-21
Pontius returns at quarterback after passing for 531 yards and 10 touchdowns last season. He’ll be charged with helping the offense find consistency. Four times in 2010, the Eagles were held to 10 points or below, but in four other games they scored at least 21 points. Pontius will have to establish chemistry among a completely new set of receivers.
Guzman, formerly the coach at Kapaun and Southeast, steps outside the City League for the first time while maintaining much of Maize’s coaching staff. Guzman will rely on a relatively small but proven group of 16 seniors and on a defense that is usually heavy on playmakers.
- Jeffrey Lutz