With a 1-2 start to the 2014 non-district season, the Summit football team’s playoff prognosis was not the brightest of all the teams in District 14-5A.
A 4-0 start to district competition quickly ended any doubt, however, and the Jaguars went on to be bi-district champions and advance to the area round.
Coach Travis Pride said that he hopes his team is picking up where it left off last season, and said that so far things look promising.
“I think things are looking good,” Pride said. “Each year is a little bit different. Obviously, it’s several months before the season, and you kind of have a plan in mind of what you want to get accomplished and what you need to get accomplished. This year, we have quite a few returning varsity players.
“We do have a few holes to fill, so we do need to see if we have some kids that are willing to step up and fill a few vacancies. Other than that, we just want to kind of refine and polish what we do. We had a real good spring. Kids were healthy. We had fun, and we got a lot of work done.”
Pride said that he did have a couple of players really step up this spring.
“We have three offensive linemen returning, so we had to find two guys,” Pride said. “We’ve got a kid who has really stepped up at right tackle, and we’re pleased with him. We’ve also got a receiver named Curtis Hollis who has been primarily a basketball player and has not played much football, but he is a big kid at outside receiver and he was pretty impressive.
“We have about seven or eight players returning on offense and the same on defense,so while we could use a little more depth, we do feel pretty good about our starters. We’ve got a lot of good-character, smart kids returning.”
Pride said that his team is looking particularly good on one side of the ball right now, although he said both sides are doing well.
“Right now, it’s probably on offense,” Pride said. “We are as good as we’ve been in a while. We’ve got Braden Nolen returning at quarterback, and D.J. (Derek Johnson), who rushed for 1,500 yards last year, will be returning next year as well. The offensive line is very athletic, and then all of our receiving corps played last year.”
In order to repeat upon the type of success his team enjoyed last season, Pride said it will take a couple of things.
“We need to get stronger and more flexible, but as far as the offensive and defensive schemes, I’m a big proponent of those kids really understanding what we want to do,” Pride said. “We want them to really continue to study the game and our schemes. I want them to play in a fashion where they don’t have to think for one second about what they are doing or how they’re going to to react.”