With just 20 total players and a handful of returners, the Van-Far/Community R-VI cooperative football team has a lot of holes to fill before it enters a 2013 schedule featuring six of its nine games on the road.
“With us being young, we have to tamper expectations; we have to be patient,” said Van-Far head coach Blake Logan. “We’re going to make mistakes throughout the year. We’re likely the youngest squad in the state of Missouri so we have to learn on the fly. It’s going to be a big time rebuilding year, losing the seniors and starters we have.”
On offense, Van-Far will start returner Lucas Robinson at quarterback. Robinson has never played a full game in the position though he saw some time there last year. Nick Barnes may see time at quarterback when he returns from injury. Wyatt McDowell is being groomed as a potential option on the JV squad.
Other key offensive positions are expected to be filled by freshman Sharrod Connor (RB/WR), McDowell (WR), Brett Hubert (WR), Logan Boyd (Flex/RB/WR), and Kyle Decker (C).
Adam Holmes played his first ever snap of football on the line in the Jamboree and may see time in the lineup. He is from Community R-VI and is the younger cousin of Tyler Mays, who is now playing football at the collegiate level.
Logan said his line is small and has very little experience.
“We’re inexperienced times 10 and undersized on the offensive line,” he added.
Joseph Clithero and perhaps Conner Albrecht could also see time on the line.
Defensively, Boyd and Robinson are expected to see time at linebacker. Householder, who made some good plays at the Jamboree, is also expected to see time, among others.
“(Householder’s) going to give you 100%,” Logan added.
Connor will play free safety.
On the defensive line, Joey Hagan, Austin Speagle, Anthony Fairchild, and Decker are expected to make a difference.
“(Fairchild) has athletic ability,” Logan said about his Community R-VI sophomore. “Obviously the size is not all the way there but he has a motor you like to see.”
Connor will be the main show on special teams. He will be the team’s placekicker, punter, kick returner, and punt returner.
“He’s one of those kids you want to have the ball in his hands in open space,” Logan said. “You have to respect the chance he might tuck and run.”
Logan said his goal is for his team to improve each practice and each game each week. He said staying healthy is also important for his squad that is not very deep.
Van-Far’s 20 players features 14 from Van-Far and six from Community R-VI.
Van-Far will play Living Word Christian High School out of O’Fallon at home on Friday, August 30 at 7 p.m.
Logan said Christian is led by a great athlete in Dantrell Prince, who is being looked at by some NCAA Division I schools. Christian runs the pistol offense.
“If he gets in an open space, nobody’s catching him,” Logan said. “He’s like Brad Smith.”