Douglass football finished their 2010 season with one win, but improved in 2011 as they finished with five. Last season’s roster held a lot of underclassmen, and with post-season experience under their belt, the Bulldogs may be a force to be reckoned with in 2012.
Coach: Jeffrey Ast (entering his third season as head coach of Douglass; 6-13 overall)
2011 Recap: 5-5 overall, 5-4 Central Plains League record, 2-0 in district
2012 District: Chaparral, Belle Plaine, Conway Springs
Returning Starters: Offense 4, Defense 5
Returning Letterman: 12
Offense: The Bulldogs had 2,400 rushing yards last season. Ronnie Sobenak was responsible for nearly half of them, and with that he wrapped up his senior year in 2011.
This season key offensive players will be seniors Ryker Greenbaum at fullback, Avery McNelly at running back, and Hunter Ackerman as an offensive lineman.
With big losses like quarterback Kyle Troxler, offensive linemen Colt Castlebury and Mika Kaylor, the Bulldogs offense will count on junior Chase Banister as starting quarterback, and his fellow junior Braiden Seal as a strong offensive lineman.
Defense: Greenbaum, McNelly, and Ackerman will also play defense for the Douglass Bulldogs. The trio will use their offensive knowledge to defend against dominant offenses in the Central Plains League like that of Garden Plain.
It will be McNelly and junior Cody Holthaus guarding the secondary, while Seal defends the line of scrimmage.
According to Coach Ast, the Bulldogs need to keep it simple and focus on the basics of the game in order to be successful.
“We have to get better every day if we are going to compete,” said Ast. “Get better every day at the fundamentals like tackling and blocking.”
Odds and Ends: Last year Douglass lost in post-season play to the preeminent powerhouse Conway Springs. This season the Bulldogs will see the Cardinals in the regular season as their last district opponent.
For now there is only one game circled on the calendar for Ast and his squad, and that is the first game of the season against the 2011 3A third place finisher Garden Plain.