Van-Far/Community R-VI head coach Kevin Baldwin will be seeking career win No. 100 this Friday night when his Indians football team takes on MMA at home.
While the Colonels have lost an athletic quarterback to graduation, they will likely pass the ball deep on an Indians’ secondary as their offense features a legit NCAA Division II collegiate prospect.
“We expect them to be aggressive in the air on offense and up front on defense,” Baldwin noted.
Last year, the Indians beat MMA 75-37 and went on to a 2-0 record through two weeks before they failed to pick up another win.
As Coach Baldwin was a late hire last Summer, he’s now had a full year to work in the weight room with his players and has enjoyed success coaching the boys to the school’s first ever state track championship this past Spring.
The success from May is something Coach Baldwin is emphasizing to his players this Fall.
“I’ve told them, there is a level of expectation when you win a state championship in track and a majority of your track kids play football,” he noted.
“People expect that level of performance and confidence to carry over into football.”
Baldwin also pointed to the three critical areas of football being strength/size, speed, and depth.
“Probably the one we have the best control of is speed,” he noted. “I told them that has to be a factor in our success and that has to come from our success in track…We are not going to be expected to be run down from behind or (have someone) run off and leave us because we have kids who can run and can control the tempo of the game with our speed and the other team’s lack of speed.”
Offensively, the Indians are running a modified version of the Wing-T featuring six kids who will see time with the ball and will be expecting to make some things happen with their feet. With a mostly running offense, quarterbacks are expected to be Parker Wallace, Eric Hombs, and Morgan Slatten. Halfbacks include Jacob Garner, Trey Miller, Trevor Crider, Josh Hodde, and Colten Jensen.
Jensen and Hodde will also be the key wideouts in split formation with Verlyn Johnson and Slatten seeing time at tight end. The line includes Treyson Culwell (C), Kyle Ebers (OG), Alex Flowers (OG), Nathan Beatty (OT), Dayton Sanders (OT), and Kyle Oligschlaeger (C, TE).
Defensively, the Indians likely won’t have their linebackers stunt themselves out of position to make a tackle. A five-man front includes Flowers (NT), Ebers (DT), Beatty (DT), Culwell (DE), and Johnson (DE).
Linebackers are to include Garner and Miller along with cornerback/linebackers Hodde and Jensen. Wallace and Crider will also see some time defensively. Hodde will once again take over the team’s punting and placekicking duties.
“I expect us to be much better than last year, that’s for sure” Baldwin said. “For two reasons; number one is just being with them this past year and all winter in the weight room. I think they are more comfortable around me and I’m more comfortable around them.”
Former head coach Jason Hall is also helping to coach the team this year along with coaches Bronc Woodruff, Tom Roth, and Gilbert Hooker.