Indians primed to be more physical

Posted Monday, Jun. 03, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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If you can hear the Keller football team’s practice all the way from the parking lot, then they’re reaching their goal for the 2013 season.

That’s the expectation of a more physical Keller football team for 2013, said head coach Carl Stralow.

Going into his second season as head coach, Stralow said improving the physicality of the team is the key objective.

Keller struggled through its 2012 campaign, ending the season at 3-7, but there are ample reasons why optimism reigns in the Indians’ spring camp, which concluded last Thursday with their intrasquad spring game.

“Being more physical means we’re a little beat up right now,” Stralow said. “We had no spring ball last year and the freshmen hadn’t ever practiced like that before,” Stralow said. “I’m encouraged by what I’ve seen.”

With Stralow coming in as the new head coach last year, Keller opted for two-a-day drills to spend more time with the new offensive and defensive systems.

As with most coaches, Stralow feels the spring game is for the players to enjoy and the goal is to come away with no injuries.

“The game, to me, is the 18th practice,” Stralow said of the spring game. “We want to get a little work and stay healthy.”

Keller’s strengths for the next season will focus on their linebackers and running backs.

While the defense will be solid up front, the secondary will be young.

With a linebacker corps that will be more experienced and more physical, Stralow said, the secondary will come along as they gain experience and reps.

Offensively, the Indians lost all but one lineman, but the player they have returning is expected to make a huge impact. That will be critical for returning running back Dalton Mills to continue his torrid pace from last year.

Mills set the school’s single game and season rushing record as a junior. He collected 311 yards in the Richland game and amassed 1,500 yards on 233 carries for the season.

Helping to clear the way is one of the state’s early favorites as the top lineman in Tristan Teuhema, a 6’5”, 325-pound junior.

Stralow doesn’t feel the caliber of running back will drop when Mills is off the field.

Brandon Poyser had an outstanding spring practice, Stralow said.

“Brandon had an amazing spring,” he said. “He just blossomed and you can’t tell the difference (between him and Mills) when he’s in there.”

And while Poyser had a great spring, Keller is thrilled with the progress of quarterback Hunter McEachern.

“Hunter had as good a spring as anyone in the program,” Stralow said. “He’s fought through some tough times, but we couldn’t be more excited.”

Keller will run an offense very similar to what they implemented last year, and Stralow felt toward the end of the season, the Indians had developed into a more potent attack.

The season will start with practices on Aug. 12, with a scrimmage with Rockwall Heath set for 9 a.m. Aug. 23 at the Keller ISD Stadium.

The first game is Aug. 28 (a Thursday), when Keller hosts Prosper.

“We’ve had a very physical spring,” Stralow said. “The kids have bought into it and we’re encouraged by the hard work. I hope it all equates to wins, but we’ll have to wait and see.”

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