Kearney's move up to Missouri Class 5 in 2012 supplied the first step in the Bulldogs' season that was, well, very unKearney-like.
By SAM MCDOWELL
The Kansas City Star
That description started with the defense, an historically formidable unit that instead allowed 26.2 points per game, never once holding an opponent to fewer than 14 points. Not surprisingly, Kearney slipped to a six-win season.
Of course, it's not as if the team were absent of reasons. The Bulldogs started nine underclassmen on defense.
Such an excuse, however, won't apply in 2013. Kearney returns all but two defensive starters.
"I think we're trying to prove we aren't a year older but (rather) a year better," Kearney coach Greg Jones said. "We're faster, we're more aggressive. We're hoping we can put the swarm back in our Purple Swarm defense."
Look no farther than the linebacker group. Seniors Max Filbeck and Alec Ivy both have potential to play college football, Jones believes, and middle linebacker Cale Garrett was one of the team's most productive players a year ago as a freshman.
There's plenty to like about what the offense returns, too. That list starts with running back Brock Broughton, a Western Illinois commit who possesses blazing speed. He ran for 1,595 yards a year ago.
Kearney has big targets in its passing game. Tight end Dray Starzl is 6-7, and wide receivers Zack Davis and Coalten Klenda are 6-5 each. That should make Austin Hinck or Johnny Weidmaier — the two players battling for the starting quarterback spot — a bit more comfortable as they look to replace the production of Cole Davis, who passed for 21 touchdowns last season.