With a poor record last season it will take strong leadership from the senior class to put the Roadrunners back on track.
Coach: Justin Burke (entering 16th year overall as a head coach 69-45; third year as head coach of Chaparral 8-11)
2011 Recap: 1-8 overall, 1-6 Central Plains League record, 0-3 in district
2012 District: Belle Plaine, Conway Springs, Douglass
Top Newcomers: Senior Tray Copenhaver (WR,DB); Senior Trevor Copenhaver (WR,DB); Freshman Adam Clark (QB, LB); Junior Mason Beasley (WR,OLB); Sophomore Gabe McAbee(WR,DB); Sophomore Roger Clark (WR,DB); Sophomore Chandler Calderon (RB,DB); Sophomore Bryce Duhon (OL,DL); Freshman Ramon Valderaz (RB, DB)
Returning Starters: Offense 9, Defense 10
Returning Letterman: 18
Offense: The Roadrunner offense will be an experienced one this season. Senior quarterback Zack Duwe threw for more 1,005 yards in 2011 and senior all-league wide receiver Major Weiss had the most receiving yards on the team averaging 41.6 per game.
Chaparral averaged 19.3 points a game and fell short of expectations set by head coach Justin Burke.
“Last season was a tough year for the Roadrunners,” said Coach Burke. “Hopes are high that the 2012 Chaparral Team will use their experience to right the ship. Experience will be abundant with a very solid senior class leading the way this season.”
Senior Justin Struble and leading rusher junior Conner Dickey will live in the backfield, while sophomore Eric Hurt plays the offensive line alongside a strong group of seniors including Cade Stierwalt, Tevin Walker, Jeremy Gaug, and all-league offensive linemen Clay Wilcox.
Defense: The Roadrunner defense gave up an average of 36.1 points per game last season. The defensive line will be protected by returning linemen Wilcox, Gaug, Stierwalt, Walker, and Hurt.
A tough league and strong district is in store for the Roadrunners. With strong performances from their defense, they will set themselves up for a chance to return to post-season play.
“The Defensive unit was picked apart last year and is a huge concern for this season,” said Coach Burke. “However, experience amongst the Front seven will be key for this year’s Roadrunner defense. Young talented defensive backs must be ready to go this year.”
Odds and Ends: In 2010 the Chaparral defense allowed an average of 22.4 points per game and helped lead the team to the state playoffs.
This season the Roadrunners will be reintroduced to Garden Plain and Bluestem. In 2009, Chaparral fell to Garden Plain 42-14, but the Roadrunners beat Bluestem 28-14 in their last meeting in 2007.