WICHITA, Kan.—South is coming off one of its best seasons, a four-win job that included a state playoff appearance. How this team will continue to grow is a big question for everyone in the program.
Coach: Kevin Steiner (First year as head coach)
2011 Recap: 4-6 Overall. South made the state playoffs in 2011 by defeating Wichita North and Campus. It met Garden City in the playoffs and lost 35-7.
Returning Starters: 4 Offense, 6 Defense
Returning Lettermen: 23
2012 District: @North, Campus, Northwest
The offensive unit will be led by Kaale McCulloch as he returns for his senior season under center. The 2012 season will be his third year as starting quarterback. However, don’t be surprised if back-up quarterback David Lowry takes some snaps for the Titans.
The loss of wide receiver Jeremy Wilson could hurt as he was a tall, fast player that could make good catches. South will do its best to replace him with smaller receivers with quicker feet like Omar Martin and Darius Taylor. Martin is a point guard on the basketball team and has crossed more than a few guys up on the court, so hopefully that quickness and athleticism translates to a successful year at receiver.
Center Seth Birkes returns to be a three-year starter. He has experienced some highs and lows with this team. In 2010, the Titans won just one game, a 25-19 squeaker against North. The next year in 2011, South found itself in the playoffs with a four-win season. Birkes will be a leader on this team as he now knows what it takes to win games.
On average, South was outscored 33-18 in 2011, but still managed to scrap together four wins and a playoff berth. The 2012 variation of the Titan defense will absolutely need to flip those numbers. If it can allow around two touchdowns per game, the offense should be able to put more points than that on the board. Just imagine what this team can do if it scored 33 and allowed just 18 points per game.
Head Coach Kevin Steiner has liked what he has seen so far in this year’s defensive units. He wants them to be an aggressive group that “gets after it” on defense. Davontae Harris will be the leader for the secondary. The South secondary allowed 15.7 yards per completion in 2011. This group will be more experienced in 2012, so hopefully it will be a more shut-down unit than in 2011. Dillon Young will be the leader on the defensive line.
ODDS AND ENDS:
South opens the season against a West team that is on the rise with the addition of head coach Weston Schartz. This will be a good game between two teams on the rise in the city league. The toughest game of the season will likely come when the Titans travel to Carroll to take on a contender for the 5A state championship.
South’s district schedule has not changed from the past few seasons. It will still face off against a struggling North team to start district play and follow it up with Campus the next week. With the combination of the experience on this year’s squad and the district schedule, South has more than a good chance to make state playoffs in 2012.