The Harrisonville Wildcats won 11 games last season. They won a district championship. And they reached the Class 4 state semifinals.
By SAM MCDOWELL
The Kansas City Star
Ho, hum. Just another year of Harrisonville football.
In search of their fifth consecutive 10-win season, the Wildcats will take the field with eight returning starters on offense and four on defense.
"The kids are very upbeat to repeat their successes," Harrisonville coach Chuck Lliteras said. "They're refreshed. They're looking forward to the chance to give it another shot."
The opening week of the regular season offers Harrisonville with an early chance at payback. The team opens with a trip to Jefferson City to face Helias, the team that bounced the Wildcats from the playoffs a year ago.
"I won't have to say much to get us fired up to go down there and play," Lliteras said. "We try not to dwell on that, but it's always in the back of their minds."
The Wildcats' offense begins with quarterback Zach Davidson, who topped the 1,000-yard mark in passing and rushing while accounting for 28 touchdowns.
"He just gets better and better," Lliteras said. "We let him do a lot of stuff on his own on the field. It's nice to have when you don't have to spoon-feed your quarterback every play."
The experience isn't nearly as present on defense, though, where Harrisonville will count on linemen Tucker Schlesener and Brock Kliewer along with linebacker Landon Hern.
"This will be an atypical year," Lliteras said. "I think our offense has to be very explosive and keep our defense in situations where they can grow and mature."