By Justin Sampson (for OzarksSportsZone.com)
The time period "transition 12 months" just isn’t widespread in Mountain Grove. Not a lot seems if you seize, or at the very least play, seven consecutive district championships.
That race ended within the district's first spherical of play final season when the Panthers fell to MV-BT / Liberty. With 5-5, they managed to tie for second place within the South Central Affiliation, helped by a victory in Thayer to shut the common season.
Second-year head coach Brandon Rodgers plans to make use of the expertise as a catalyst.
"We began Zero-Three in opposition to good groups, however we recovered to achieve .500," he stated. “We begin with the identical schedule as Strafford, Truthful Grove and Ava. We must overcome some issues and I hope it’s a studying expertise. The kids by no means gave up final 12 months and I used to be pleased with them. "
With roughly a dozen seniors, there can be many younger individuals to finish the record. It is going to take younger individuals to carry out a very powerful Panther soccer job: run the ball. Trevor Thompson was the very best runner and scorer in a workforce that reached 1,669 whole yards on the bottom. Your commencement has left issues to go and can in all probability go to newcomers. Second-year college students Brendan Rogers and Colt Allen hope to think about the combination.
The expertise of the return of quarterback Rhett Wakefield can be important. The senior accrued 733 whole yards and eight touchdowns a season in the past, however did so on an offense that averaged lower than 13 factors per recreation. The Mountain Grove offense, by nature, at all times requires a double-threaded quarterback. Final fall it turned clear that Wakefield may do it by land and air.
“The 12 months ended significantly better than it began. He’ll carry the ball quite a bit on this offense. We run a cut up lap, so my quarterback may at all times have as many carries as my runners. ”
Senior Caleb Fry and junior Anthony Peterson, each awarded with All-SCA, are again to steer the hassle on the offensive line. The second 12 months pupil Jase Dowden may even see a higher position within the trenches.
It’s probably that his companion Tony Villanueva passes from the offensive line to the tight finish.
Fry additionally returns as the principle tackler after scoring 84 whole tackles and three catches on the defensive finish. Juniors Anthony Peterson and Tyrone Volner additionally hope to assist on the road.
Alex Casas will play his position in highschool once more after his 60-tack and four-interceptions marketing campaign earned him a choice of the Second All-SCA Crew. Main Davin Basham, one other honoree from the All-SCA, will be a part of him in protection.
Wakefield and Villanueva may even be key components of the physique of supporters.
The remainder of the record can be accomplished with freshmen. Rodgers is happy with the way in which they’ve pushed their older teammates.
"Our second 12 months class has a number of good athletes," he stated. "Everybody works exhausting and the competitors for beginning positions will assist us."
The opposite important level of pleasure for Rodgers is the change of tempo within the low season exercises. Gamers really feel extra snug with the system and anticipate it to be equal to extra consolation and confidence as soon as the season begins.
"Our routine, what we do to observe and within the weight room, is completely different. We appeared for it greater than final 12 months, which was extra a studying expertise."
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