Twelfth in a daily series spotlighting key area high school football teams leading to opening night, Aug. 30
Last season: 8-3 (5-2 in District 7-5A), lost to Allen 30-17 in bi-district
Key players: RB Jimmari Morris (6-1, 180); OG Josh Maronski (6-2, 275); DE/OL Luke Wheeler (5-10, 205); WR Cody Burd (5-8, 160); LB Drew Bolin (5-10, 185); DE Matt Mullins (5-10, 215); DL T.J. Tauaalo (6-2, 275)
The big picture: After reaching the playoffs for the first time in 2011, Keller Central intends to take the next step and advance in the postseason. The Chargers are in a formidable district that boasts defending state champion Southlake Carroll. But the Chargers should pose a challenge for any team they face. They return three starters on the offensive line as well as Jimmari Morris, a second-team all-district running back. Sophomore Jake McClurg and junior Corey Beahm will compete to succeed first-team all-district pick Tanner Tausch at quarterback. The defense should be solid with the return of experienced linemen Luke Wheeler, Matt Mullins and T.J. Tauaalo.
Quotable: "Going 8-2 last year and beating some people no one expected us to beat -- that's good for our kids to gain that confidence. But at the same time, 2012 is a new year. You have to go out and earn it all over again." -- Coach Bart Helsley
"Every week we have to compete. It's a good district. We have a tough schedule. I think we can do it." -- WR Cody Burd
"Last year we made the playoffs. This year we're just trying to better ourselves and win a playoff game." -- DE/OL Luke Wheeler
Notable: The Chargers lost to eventual state champion Southlake Carroll by only three points last season. Keller Central gets another crack at the Dragons at home Sept. 28.
-- Mark Wright
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