The Lakota West football team got off to a “fresh start” to the season when it opened its summer practice program on a hot evening on the high school’s football field Monday evening.
“What is neat about our sport is that every year is a new year, a fresh start, fresh beginnings and as I tell our kids – we are undefeated right now,” Lakota West head coach Larry Cox said. “Somebody else is going to have to prove that otherwise.”
With the departure of quarterback Jordan Darling, who moved to Texas after leading the Firebirds and the Greater Miami Conference in passing in 2010, there are currently four players trying to prove to Cox that they deserve the starting quarterback gig.
Cox will learn a lot more about his four candidates during the two weeks of his summer practice program. Battling for the starting position, which figures to be a close race, is junior Dustin Parker, sophomores Justin Martin, Malik Grove (photo) and Tyler Jones.
“We have four kids who are really, really working hard for that position,” Cox said. “They are also all good kids who all want a shot at it, but they are helping each other. That is the neat part about it.”
Three returning starters on the offensive line and the return of senior wide receiver Tyler Williams (21 rec. 257 yards in 2010) and senior running back Marcus Davis (542 rushing yards in 2010) should help the new starting quarterback.
Meanwhile, opposing quarterbacks could have a difficult time passing against West with what Cox dubs as his best secondary in his 15 years as the Firebirds’ head coach. The foursome includes seniors Dawson Fletcher (Indiana commit), Peair Foster, Amarie’ Bryant and Antonio Darden.
Also on defense, senior Blake Bell leads the defensive line and junior Mike Kelly (Ryan Kelly’s brother – Ryan is a now a freshman on the University of Alabama football team) is expected to make an impact at linebacker.
“I really like this team,” Cox said. “I think we have a lot of depth.
“Even though it is July 18th, I get a little jacked up because I know what the pay off is going to be. I know how close things are down the line and I am excited about that. Every year is a good year, some are just better than others.”