The Staley Falcons are learning to march on without quarterback Trent Hosick, a two-time all-state performer who led the team to a 2011 state championship and 23 victories over the last two seasons.
By SAM MCDOWELL
The Kansas City Star
So far, the transition has been a little easier than expected.
While Hosick has graduated and has since joined the Missouri football program, the Falcons return the bulk of a team that won nine games last season. Six starters are back for the offense and eight on defense.
"Trent had a unique skill-set, and there's a reason he's a Division I quarterback," Staley coach Fred Bouchard said. "I just don't think the cupboard is completely bare. We have some kids who can do some things."
That even includes quarterback. A year after playing wide receiver, Jordan Robben is slated to replace Hosick under center. Like Hosick, Robben is a dual-threat quarterback, meaning the playbook won't see much change.
Kahluna and Faizol Bouchard will share time in the backfield for the second straight season, and they will run behind a senior-laden offensive line driven by Virgil Woods.
"There's a little maturity and camaraderie among our linemen," Bouchard said. "And there's some sense of urgency because we have eight seniors who could play there."
Another senior, Bailey Sutko, headlines the defensive line, while Parker Mertz returns at linebacker. Still, the strength of the defense may be in the secondary, where Staley returns all four guys.
"We have some smart kids (on defense) who are students of the game, so they do a nice job of making adjustments," Bouchard said. "That puts us in a situation where maybe we can do some unique things."