Maize South football: Young players step into roles
In each of Maize Souths first four years, the Mavericks progressed. The Mavericks were 1-6 in 2009, a tough start for a program that had to travel around Kansas to find games.
But then came the firsts. The first playoff berth in 2010, the first winning regular season in 2011 and then a 9-2 record and the first playoff win in 2012.
Such a steady progression is impressive, but now the Mavericks are facing a different issue.
Weve always been working with a chip on our shoulder and trying to prove something, fifth-year coach Brent Pfeifer said. Now we have a target on our back for the first time, and everyone is kind of gunning for us. We have to work to put the chip on the other shoulder and try to prove we belong where were at.
Part of that process is avoiding a rebuilding year and focusing on reloading. There are key players, such as defensive back DeSean Washington and linebacker Josh Lewis, both seniors.
But theres also youth.
We are young, and we dont have a lot of experience, Washington said. The skill positions are being filled by sophomores, so its hard to have high expectations. At the same time, were still setting a standard that we need to meet. We want to go out and win league, win districts and make a big run.
Pfeifer wouldnt be surprised to see his team stumble a bit early.
We dont put a lot of pressure on them to fill shoes, Pfeifer said, but to do their best at the position we put them at, then well see where were at.
The inexperience will be most obvious in the backfield, especially after the loss of do-everything player Wes Phillips and backs Jesse Rogers and Alex Orth.
Chase Bell could start at quarterback, but he is 6-foot-4 and has been clocked running a 4.6-second 40-yard dash, so he could move out to tight end. If Bell did that, then sophomore Korie Frausto likely would start at quarterback. A track athlete with 4.3 speed in the 40, he is a threat to run, but he also can pass. Juniors Lonnie Scifres and Remington Smith will likely see time at running back.
Really, we spent the summer with ourselves, putting kids in different positions to see what will work for us, Pfeifer said. It will happen in the games, too. The first two, three, four weeks, well shuffle kids around, put them in different positions.
Maize South Mavericks
Coach: Brent Pfeifer, fifth season, 19-19
League: AV-CTL Division II
Last season: 9-2, lost in second round of 4A playoffs
Last five seasons: 19-19
Projected 2013 playoff team? Yes
Top skill players
|Sept. 6||Arkansas City|
|Sept. 13||at Eisenhower|
|Sept. 20||Valley Center|
|Sept. 27||at Andover Central|
|Oct. 4||at Goddard|
|Oct. 18||El Dorado|
|Oct. 25||at Hesston|
DeSean Washington on his team
What Maize South does well: We have a lot of speed. Our team is not very big, but were very, very fast.
What has to improve: Leadership, for one. Its one thing that Pfeifer has been stressing all summer, well, actually, the last three years. Even with (me) being a captain, in those moments we want to make sure captains and upperclassmen are setting an example and encouraging the younger kids.