In high school football, nothing is quite as valuable as experience, and the South High School Wolverines bring plenty of it in 2014.
The Wolverines have seven returning starters on an offense that scored more than 30 points per game last season. The team also has eight starters on defense that allowed fewer than 15 points per game. But those were last season’s numbers.
In his 11th season, Head Coach John Lewis is hoping that experience can carry over and translate into a trip back to the state tournament. But Lewis says he’s taking things one step at a time.
“Of course everybody wants to go to the championship,” Lewis said. “But it doesn’t start at the championship. It starts week one; we play Dimond.”
The Wolverines have known about the matchup against rival Dimond High School since February. But Lewis is confident in his team’s ability.
“They know what they have to do,” he said, adding that there’s a sense of urgency with this Wolverine squad, especially for the veterans.
“These guys know that, as seniors, this is the last year,” Lewis said. “This is the last year to develop memories.”
South’s success will rely on its running game, meaning all-state tight end Alain Devoe will be a focal point in 2014. But he won’t be touching the ball very often in the Wolverine’s run-heavy offense.
“I’m just mostly blocking for the sweepers and running backs,” Devoe said. “That’s kind of been my forte, I guess you could say.”
Devoe will have plenty of backs to block for this season because of South’s depth at the position.
“We’ve found that we don’t need to have that great running back,” Lewis said. “We just have multiple backs. We’re going to hit you all day with everybody fresh, and it makes a little bit of a nuisance for the defense.”
A mix of experience and a sound run game could be just what the doctor ordered for the South squad looking to win its second state title in three years.