Experience raises Broncos’ expectations

Posted Monday, Aug. 19, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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No football team in District 15-4A will return as much starting experience in 2013 as Legacy. The Broncos return 19 starters – nine on offense and 10 on defense – from a team that went 4-6 last season but just 2-5 in district play. With that crop of veterans, expectations will be raised.

“It would be very disappointing for these young men and for our coaching staff [to not make the playoffs],” head coach Chris Melson said. “They’ve both worked very hard for this and have high expectations. I know that they expect a lot of themselves and we do as coaches.”

Highlighting the Broncos’ returning offensive core is running back K.J. Amous, who rushed for over 1,000 yards last season while finding the end zone 20 times. Handing off to Amous will be Terrence Ivery, who moves from wide receiver to quarterback this season after the departure of last year’s quarterback Brady Burke. Melson feels like Ivery has made significant strides since taking over the huddle back in the spring.

“We feel very confident in Terrence and very excited,” Melson said. “He’s got those experienced linemen in front of him to open up holes. The good thing about Terrence is that he’s confident. He’s a confident young man and a team player, so I think with the line in front of him and the tailback behind him in Amos, all the pressure is not on Terrence. It’s a whole team effort.”

Ivery will also have the benefit of a receiving corps that Melson says is probably the strongest that he’s had at Legacy.

Defensively, the Broncos have just about everyone back, including linebackers Michael Sanders and Everett Williams. A few others have also caught the eyes of the coaching staff heading into fall camp.

Defensive end Harris Kafah spent most of his junior year on the JV, but Melson says he has “blossomed into a real thick, strong, fast athlete.” He also praised the work of outside linebacker Brock Bloodworth, who was a standout in the spring.

“We feel really good about our team,” Melson said. “The thing I feel most confident in is their desire to win and their willingness to work. They had a great offseason – the best I’ve been a part of … These young men really want to win and they’ve got a lot of experience behind them and a lot of desire. They really have a chance to have a very successful season.”

With so many returning players in place, the Broncos shouldn’t have to deal with some of the growing pains that come with plugging in new faces. That means Melson and Legacy expect to play at a high level from week one.

“We feel like we know who our players are, so as soon as we hit the field we want to go play well,” Melson said. “We want to be in great shape and great condition and play hard for four quarters and just do what we do. We want to execute our offense at a high level and play great, fast defense and hopefully come out with a victory and continue to get better each week.”

Legacy’s non-district slate should provide it with some valuable lessons about the teams the Broncos will see in district play.

“Our non-district is really a good set of games,” Melson said. “Our first opponent (McKinney) is a wide-open spread offense – a 5A school that’s real offensive minded. So that’s good for us to face.

“Then Kennedale is a real grind-it-out-on-the-ground, wing-T, run-it-down-your-throat team. Then, Bryan Adams [High School] is a combination of both. So, our early schedule gets us prepared for anything we might see as far as schemes and the way people try to attack you,” Melson added.

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