When Todd Vaughn accepted the head coaching job at Belton last February, he did so with rather lofty expectations, especially considering the Pirates had won only four games over the last three seasons.
By SAM MCDOWELL
The Kansas City Star
Nevertheless, Vaughn talked about winning playoff games, finishing with winning records and eventually playing deep into the postseason.
But first things first: He needed more players. That first step is a success. More than 50 players have shown up for practice, just a year after the Pirates' roster had only 35.
"I was actually hoping for even more, but I think overall you have to pleased with the progress," Vaughn said. "It's going to be a process, and it's working. I think overall the thoughts on the program is a little more positive. That's helping get kids out."
The next process will take place on the field. It could also be a lengthy one.
Vaughn is implementing a new spread offense with three players battling for time at the quarterback position. The top-two candidates — senior Tucker Perkins and junior Daren Johnson — have never run the spread offense before.
Still, Vaughn expects the Pirates to move the ball. Why? They possess an improving group of receivers that includes Nathan Dotson and Johnson, should he lose out on the quarterback battle. Zach Willis will see the bulk of the carries at tailback.
The growing process may be slower on defense, where Vaughn says the unit is undersized. The team's linebackers — led by Taylor Trapp and Josh Hicks — are expected to provide the strength of the defense.