After a solid 8-3 campaign last season, Center head coach Bryan DeLong sees a new challenge this year with a rather young squad in Missouri Class 4.
Still, DeLong hopes his players learn and continue to focus on the main goal — compete in the West Central Conference.
“If we’re at that level of play, we give ourselves a chance at the end,” DeLong said.
The Yellowjackets feature a few senior players who will play vital roles.
Senior middle linebacker Justin Holland appears to be one of the players to watch in 2014. Senior tackle Nate Swanson comes in at 6-foot-5, 350 pounds and a force on the line of scrimmage.
“Those are the guys that have been doing a good job with senior leadership and showing the way to other kids and working really hard,” DeLong said.
However, DeLong sees three to four sophomores getting starting positions, which creates an early season challenge.
“The boys have been working hard, but we’re a little younger and inexperienced,” DeLong said. “They have to realize there’s all kinds of other programs around Missouri that are working just as hard.”
And the coaching staff is preparing many of the players for the early season, because they know the conference season is right around the corner.
“When we get into our league, the schedule gets pretty salty in a hurry,” DeLong said.