A quick peek at the numbers will prove that the 2012 season was a forgettable one for Southwest.
By SAM MCDOWELL
The Kansas City Star
It was, however, an important one for the growth of the football program.
Yes, Southwest managed only seven touchdowns in its 1-9 season a year ago, but now the third-year program has something of an excuse — of the 27 players on the Indians' varsity roster last season, 17 were freshman.
The majority of that group is back for 2013, this time with some varsity experience.
"I think the experience they got really helped out, and you will see why," head coach Roger Franks said. "One thing about this group is they didn't quit. They stayed aligned. I look for them to grow and be much more competitive. I think they will be able to hold their own."
At the top of this sophomore class is running back Howard Rice, a physical runner who enjoyed most of the totes a year ago.
"His age and maturity will make him better," Franks said. "He has the potential to play beyond the high school level. He's very tough but also very fast."
He will be running behind a largely inexperienced offensive line that is still developing, Franks said.
That puts more weight on the shoulders of fullback Larahn Walker, who doubles as one of the team's best defensive linemen.
"He's young, physical and has the ability to play on both sides of the ball," Franks said. "He came back a lot stronger this year, just like most the rest of the guys."