"We've got to have some kids that haven't played a lot of varsity football really bring it come Friday nights. If they develop and mature like we need them to, we can be pretty good."
AT A GLANCE
Last season: 5-4
Last five seasons: 19-30
Projected 2011 playoff team? Yes
BEST SKILL PLAYERS
Jarrod Nickelson 6-0 190 RB Sr.Austin True 6-0 170 RB Sr.Lucas Rinke 6-0 200 RB Sr.Dakota Vaughn 5-7 180 RB Jr.
Colin Frickey 6-2 200 DE Jr.Clint Lewis 6-1 325 OL Sr.McLain Whalen 6-0 200 OL Sr.Cody Hamilton 5-9 165 TE Jr.
JARROD NICKELSON ON HIS TEAM
What Clearwater does well: "I think the best thing we have going for us going into the season is our leadership. We had good leadership last year and I think that's going to carry over."
What has to improve: "We need to improve on our passing game. If we do that, then hopefully we'll be able to put up more points and make it where the defense isn't sitting on the run every play."
Sept. 2 Collegiate 7 p.m. L,41-25Sept. 9 at Augusta 7 p.m. W,28-14Sept. 16 at Circle 7 p.m. W,23-21Sept. 23 Maize South 7 p.m. W,14-13Sept. 30 at Andale 7 p.m. L,27-10Oct. 7 at Council Grove 7 p.m. W,34-20Oct. 14 Winfield 7 p.m. L,42-14Oct. 21 at Mulvane 7 p.m. L,35-21Oct. 27 Wellington 7 p.m. W,24-21
Nine starters return to Clearwater's offense, which will be in its second season under Ankerholz’s system. It all revolves around Nickelson and the running game. True, Rinke and Vaughn will help carry some of the load, but the Indians will need to find a passing game to achieve balance and success.
The defense has a few more questions to answer, including finding eight replacements from last season — mostly in the back seven. But Ankerholz likes the team speed, which he thinks will make the task easier. The defense will be anchored by the line, led by Frickey, Lewis and Vaughn.
— Taylor Eldridge