Southwest ECC eyes a program-changing season

08/19/2014 2:07 PM

08/19/2014 2:07 PM

Southwest ECC coach Roger Franks says he has been waiting for the 2014 football season for quite some time.

In fact, when he took over the program two years ago, he quickly figured out that his freshman class accounted for nearly half of the team’s roster. He patiently waited for them to grow into experienced upperclassmen.

The time has come.

“They’ve been with me for almost three years now, and they’re starting to get used to my style of coaching,” Franks said. “I feel comfortable that we’ll actually win some games, and we’ll go out there and compete even when we don’t (win). We’re developing everything in the right direction.”

Southwest won only once last season and only once in 2012, but Franks says his team believes it’s in line for better results this fall.

He has been especially pleased with the maturation of his skill position players, a group that starts with tailback Howard Rice and fullback Larahn Walker. Both players will see carries this season.

Senior Theo Johnson and sophomore Darrius Jones will rotate at quarterback.

“We’re pretty loaded at the skill positions,” Franks said. “I think the main thing is making sure we keep playing together — and of course we have to stay healthy.”

The latter takes on even more importance considering the size of the roster. Southwest featured only 24 players during the first week of practice.

That means a bulk of the players will be featured on both offense and defense. Rice will pair with Hense Todd in the secondary, which Franks classified as the strength of his defense.

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