The Wichita Eagle and VarsityKansas gear up for the 2011 high school football season by presenting in-depth previews for 30 area teams.
“I feel like this group of skill players is as good as any we’ve had in my time here. We can run with anybody, so the question isn’t going to be with the skill positions, it’ll be on the line where we don’t have a lot of size and we’re really not sure at this point how we’re going to match up.”
AT A GLANCE
Last season: 5-5
Last five seasons: 33-19
Projected 2011 playoff team? Yes
BEST SKILL PLAYERS
Jacob Davis 6-3 230 LB Sr. Zac Franklin 6-1 170 WR Sr. Cory Cuda 6-2 205 SS Sr. Jordan Wiedemann 6-3 190 QB-FS Sr.
Bennett Moore 6-2 230 DE Sr. Kyle Lee 5-11 255 OL-DL Jr. Alex Lee 5-11 255 OL-DL Jr. Tyler Keller 5-11 210 OL-DL Sr.
JORDAN WIEDEMANN ON HIS TEAM
What Northwest does well: “We’re pretty good at the read-option right now, and offensively we’ve got a lot of speed at the skill positions. On defense, we’re really strong at linebacker and our secondary has a lot of experience.”
What Northwest has to improve: “Our mental strength is going to be so important this year because we run a lot of no-huddle on offense and we’ve got a lot of guys that will be playing both ways. We’ve got to make sure that the conditioning is there because when we get tired we’ll need to find a way to fight through it.”
Sept. 2 Kapaun (at WSU) 7 p.m. L,24-7Sept. 9 at Dodge City 7 p.m. L,30-10Sept. 16 East 7 p.m. W,21-6Sept. 23 Carroll 7 p.m. L,35-7Sept. 30 at Heights 7 p.m. L,56-14Oct. 7 Southeast (at South) 7 p.m. W,31-3 Oct. 14 Campus 7 p.m. W,17-7 Oct. 20 at North 7 p.m. W,35-12Oct. 27 South 7 p.m. W,35-0
Northwest showed some character last season when it bounced back from back-to-back blowout losses to Carroll and Heights and a 1-4 start to win four straight and make the Class 6A playoffs. The Grizzlies return 18 starters from last year’s team, including their top two defensive players in Division I prospects Davis (109 tackles) and Moore (106 tackles). Moving Moore from linebacker to defensive end should help shore up what are thin ranks up front on both sides of the ball.
Quarterback-free safety Wiedemann is a three-year starter who has battled injuries the last two years that cost him big chunks of the season, but is physically fine headed into this year.
— Tony Adame