Varsity Kansas

Football 2015: Jason Nichols tries to turn around El Dorado (+video)

Change is in the air once again in El Dorado, and even though the new football coach was on last year’s staff, he already has some new plans for the Wildcats.

Jason Nichols, a defensive assistant last year, takes the reins from Jared Anderson, who moved to Missouri.

Nichols, who went 4-5 in 2011 at Cheney in his first head-coaching job, said the key is promoting a positive attitude.

It got off to a good start in the summer weight program, he said.

“We had almost 200 kids that participated in weights this summer, 7 to 12,” he said. “They’re ready for success, willing to work hard. It’s a good bunch of kids that we have right now.”

Nichols said the Wildcats will go away from Anderson’s flex-bone to a spread offense that better utilizes junior quarterback Cade Morrow, who started as a sophomore before getting injured.

“He’s a great kid,” Nichols said of Morrow. “He’s improving and has improved over the summer.”

His top target will be senior receiver Kody Melugin.

“Kody’s going to be real good for us,” Nichols said.

The Wildcats will also benefit from a new defensive coordinator, veteran Bill Shaw, who coached for many years alongside Tom Young at Wellington and Derby. He will help the Wildcats adjust to a 3-4 defense from the 4-2 they ran a year ago, Nichols said.

“He’s done a great job so far,” Nichols said. “I was lucky to get someone like him in.”

El Dorado has experience at the skill positions, but is still pretty young on the line, Nichols said. One exception is Seth Knowles, who was hurt last season but is back for his senior year.