Smoky Valley improved from 2010 as they finished the 2011 season winning four of their nine games, but with their all-league quarterback Nick Deterding and running back Taylor Base graduated they will face some adversity in 2012.
Coach: Chris Hattabaugh (entering fourth year at Smoky Valley; 9-18 overall)
2011 Recap: 4-5 overall, 3-4 Central Kansas League record, 1-2 in district
2012 District: Abilene, Chapman, McPherson
Returning Starters: Offense 5, Defense 9
Returning Lettermen: 18
Offense: Graduates Nick Deterding and Taylor Base led the Vikings offense with a combined 1,489 rushing yards last season, but not every all-league player from Smoky Valley played their last high school game in 2011.
All-league wide receiver Holden Hendricks will return in 2012 as a senior and bring with him an average of 34.8 receiving yards per game from last season.
Senior Jake Rogers will join Hendricks as a wide receiver and senior running back Curtis Carlson will be in the backfield to complete the Vikings’ spread option offense.
Defenders like senior Weston Loder at offensive guard and senior Cody Hopkins at offensive tackle will push through the opposing defense in order to provide the Vikings a chance to surpass their average of 21.4 points per game last season.
Defense: Another returning all-league player for the Vikings is junior linebacker Spencer Bird. Seniors Trevor Whittaker, Jake Rogers, and Kyle Ryan will join with Bird to form one half of the 4-4 defense. Hendricks and fellow senior Mark Klaasen will defend the ends of the line of scrimmage, with senior Hunter Lawless and sophomore Stephen Klassen in between as defensive tackles.
Juniors Christian Hansen and Mason Weis will play as cornerbacks with the main goal of reading opposing wide receivers and stopping them from completing passes.
Odds and Ends: In 2010, Smoky Valley did not score in two games, but in 2011 they were not shut out at all. The Vikings outscored their opponents 207 to 188.
In the last two years Smoky Valley has faced Abilene and Chapman in district play. They have ended the 2010 and 2011 seasons with a loss as they have been unable to defeat Abilene, but with another shot in 2012, they are hungry to end the streak.