After enjoying its best football season since moving to Missouri Class 6, Raymore-Peculiar is faced with the task of replacing many of its key assets from 2012.
By SAM MCDOWELL
The Kansas City Star
On the other hand, those returning are certainly no slouches. Take the offense, for example, where all five returners are set to start for a third consecutive season.
That list begins with tight end Scott Schaffner, an Iowa State commit who provides a big target (6-4, 215) and plays a crucial role in the Panthers' double-wing offense. He also is a noted blocker and will join three returners on the offensive line — juniors CJ Donaldson and Ben Sinclair and senior Jake Hilsabeck.
Together, the experienced group supplies an optimistic outlook for speedy tailback Steve Brown, who scored 22 touchdowns a year ago.
"As is the case every year with us, we have to control the running game," Raymore-Peculiar coach Tom Kruse said. "We're not a wide open, spread team. Running the football is the strength of what we do. I think that will give us an opportunity to open up some play action stuff."
There's no shortage of three-year starters on defense, either.
Free safety Marcus Zweifel is back after finishing second on the team in tackles. Middle linebacker Bubba Blackburn is healthy after playing through a back injury most of last season.
Plus, Donaldson and Sinclair also figure to be central figures on the defensive line where they are joined by three-sport athlete Ben Harris.
"We're going to rely heavily on those two offensively and defensively because they're good football players," Kruse said. "They're going to be our anchors on the line."