Indians, Panthers returning starters to make a run

Posted Monday, Aug. 19, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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It’s all about the returners for Keller and Keller Fossil Ridge this fall.

Fossil Ridge returns 15 starters from last year’s team, that showed a glimmer of something special as the regular season came to a close last year.

One of those returning, Nick Foster, has the potential of being one of North Texas’ top kick returners before heading off to TCU next season.

For Keller, head coach Carl Stralow returns players in all the right places, including the school’s single-season rushing leader Dalton Mills and quarterback Hunter McEachern.

Here’s a look at both teams headed into the 2013 season:

2013 Panthers

Coach: Tony Baccarini

2012: 3-7 (3-4 in District 4-5A)

Key returners: CB Nick Foster, DE Anthony Villalobos, QB Jake Gnacinski

Outlook: Losing an all-around athlete like former quarterback Sheldon Neuse should have been a huge blow to Fossil Ridge last season and this fall, however Jacob Gnacinski has proven an equal competitor with a season under his belt. The rising senior threw for 1,808 yards last season, connecting for 10 touchdowns … At 6-foot-2, 225-pounds, Gnacinski is deceptively fast, rushing for 397 yards and a touchdown last year … He is currently being scouted by colleges to play linebacker and posted a 4.6, 40-yard dash time this summer.

The star of the show this season should be Foster, who will make a huge impact on Fossil Ridge’s return game this year before moving on to TCU. “Speed. Speed, speed, speed,” Fossil Ridge assistant coach Stanley Moss said. “That’s one thing, being a former Frog myself, [TCU] Coach [Gary Patterson] prides himself on getting great athletes that can run and Nick is one of those kids that can run. Once he gets down all the techniques and gets a little bit stronger in the weight room, he’s going to be hard to handle out here.”

2013 Indians

Coach: Carl Stralow

2012: 3-7 (3-4 in District 4-5A)

Key returners: RB Dalton Mills, OL Maea Teuhema, QB Hunter McEachern, LB Sione Teuhema

Outlook: Despite a losing season last year, Keller football made waves this summer when both Teuhemas committed to the University of Texas … Keller returns 11 starters this season, in all of the right places … A coach couldn’t ask for much more than to return the school’s best single-season rusher in Mills, who piled on 1,522 yards and 14 touchdowns last season.

Handing the ball off to Mills is McEachern, who threw for 580 yards and two touchdowns, splitting the season with Gabe Martinez … with Maea Teuhema leading the charge, Keller should prove to be a good imitation of SEC football – line up and make them stop what they know is coming.

Stralow will begin his second year at the helm of Keller, meaning his team has a full season and spring to become fully immersed in his system.

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