Despite shaking things up on offense, the Red Demons will rely on their new starting quarterback and his consistency in the spread to make them more dominant in 2012.
Coach: Dave Foster (16-6 entering his third year coaching at school, 88-69 overall)
2011 Recap: 5-5 overall, 1-3 league
Returning Starters: Offense 8, Defense 7
Returning Letterman: 23
2012 Outlook: -
The Demons will rely on Foster’s spread offense. They have an abundance of depth at the skill positions, including first-team All-WAC senior running back Parker Davis. Foster is shaking things up, starting junior Kellen Newton at the quarterback position and senior Taylor Murphy will return to his receiver position, despite being the starting quarterback throughout the 2011 season.
“With the emergence of a new quarterback surrounded by talented skill players and protected by a solid offensive line, this offensive season should be an exciting one,” Foster said.
The Demons lost wide receiver Trey Hallman to graduation, but Foster is looking to his new receiving core to step up both on and off the field.
“We must get over the hump from a year ago,” Foster said. “Complacency may have set in following an 11-1 season in 2010 and some players appear to have lost their edge. I look for that to return in the form of urgency in 2012.”
Defensively, graduation hit the Demons hard at linebacker and they will change up their defensive scheme to a base 3-4.
“We lack depth there but have several players battling to see time,” Foster said. “Their progression will be key in the development of our defense.“
The Demons lost three key starters in All-WAC linebacker Todd Middleton, linebacker Rodney Rojas and defensive back Isaiah Bradshaw. However, Foster is confident his team has more potential this year.
“We look to get back on top after struggling to win some tight games a year ago,” Foster said. “We return a wealth of depth and key returners. This will be an exciting season based on the kids returning in the program. If we can fill a few voids on defense, we should be a solid team this fall.”
Odds and Ends:
Scheduling seems to be both an advantage and a disadvantage with teams switching their districts around. Dodge will have five of their nine games at home. That will be an advantage, especially, facing Wichita Heights (6A runner-up in 2011) on their Western Kansas home turf.
To return to the state playoffs, The Demons will have to find success in their district, which includes 2011 5A State Champ Hutchinson at home, Maize on the road, before finishing the regular season in the annual Hatchet Game versus rival Garden City at home.