When Brent Pfeifer took over the Maize South program, he made one thing certain for years to come. He would take his best athletes and put them on defense.
It’s a philosophy that has helped the Mavericks slowly build a contender. This season becomes more difficult with a bump up to Class 5A that includes sharing a district with powers Carroll and Maize.
“We think our defense can take us into the playoffs and it’s done that,” Pfeifer said. “We maintain that philosophy and that’s where our focus will be. We hope our defense is always going to be the strength of our program.”
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Don’t expect that to change this season, as Maize South brings back six returning starters, including its entire linebacking corps featuring seniors Jeremiah Fettke, Logan Mormando, and Caleb Warner.
Coupled with the move of senior Lonnie Scifres, an all-league talent at running back last season, to defensive end, the defense is stacked to stop the run.
“There’s a pride here of playing defense,” Fettke said. “We are passionate about defense and we want to keep that tradition alive here at Maize South.”
Losing Scifres out of the backfield was a move made because the coaching staff felt like depth at the tailback position is a luxury.
Also, the return of Korie Frausto, an exciting prospect at quarterback, should kickstart an offense that just began to pick up new concepts that Pfeifer had implemented during the season.
An entire offseason of additional work has helped and Pfeifer is excited to see his formula can work, this time against Carroll and Maize.
“You look at Carroll and that’s one of the top programs in the state right now,” Pfeifer said. “When we started out in 4A, we looked around and it was Andale and Collegiate. Now we’re in Class 5A and we have to set our bar to a new level. We want to be at that level, too.”
A LOOK AT MAIZE SOUTH
Coach: Brent Pfeifer, sixth season, 27-21
League: AV-CTL Division II
Last season: 8-2, lost in first round of Class 4A playoffs
Last five seasons: 27-21
Projected 2014 playoff team? No
TOP SKILL PLAYERS
|Sept. 5||at Goddard|
|Sept. 12||at Holton|
|Sept. 26||at Andover Central|
|Oct. 3||Arkansas City|
|Oct. 10||at Coweta (Okla.)|
|Oct. 17||at Valley Center|
Jeremiah Fettke on his team
What Maize South does well: “We’re going to be a really good defensive team. We’re going to be constantly fighting and we’re all really close. There’s so much heart on this team. That’s the thing that sticks out in my mind, just how much heart we have.”
What has to improve: “We have to focus, all of us together, on our goal. We can’t worry about our other opponents or what other people are doing. We just have to focus on ourselves and stay on track.”