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Redskins to preview spread offense Saturday

August 16, 2013

Wapakoneta High School sophomore Aaron Huffman runs the ball in an Aug. 5 practice at the WHS field. (Staff photo/Brad Frank)

Sports Editor

The Wapakoneta Redskins’ football preview Saturday against Findlay and Tiffin Columbian will truly be a preview.

After all, Findlay and Columbian each run spread offenses, which Wapak will go against in each of its first three regular season games this season, against Bellefontaine, Kenton and Elida.

The Redskins will head to Donnell Stadium in Findlay on Saturday for a 10 a.m. scrimmage against the Findlay Trojans and the Columbian Tornadoes.

“They're both good football teams who run the spread well,” Wapakoneta varsity football coach Doug Frye said of Findlay and Columbian. “What we're really most concerned about is our defense seeing two good spread looks. What we see from an offensive standpoint isn't a concern. We're more concerned with our defense seeing the spread than anything else.”

On defense, the Redskins will use the time against those spread offenses to begin finding starters.

“We have a number of kids coming in and out with some battles still to be decided,” Frye said. “We're going to play seven or eight defensive linemen in three spots. Two of three inside linebackers return. We're going to have to break in another outside linebacker. We've got a committee of guys there. Both starting cornerback positions were vacated but we have guys who are projected to start there.”

Ultimately, the Redskins’ coaching staff is seeking 22 different starters on each side of the football. At present, junior Kodi Morgan is the only player slated to start on offense and defense, returning at quarterback and safety.

“I truly believe in two-platoon football,” Frye said. “Our depth is a concern, with a shallow senior class, and our numbers are down slightly but they’re not bad.”

In an effort to fill remaining starting spots, in order to evaluate, Frye said a lot of his players will see time on the field right off the bat in Saturday’s scrimmage.

“In the early series, we're going to play 31 kids against the best 11 from Findlay and Columbian. We’re going to put a lot of kids in and out,” Frye said. “As the scrimmage progresses, we'll put our best units together.” “We want to give all of our kids an opportunity who have worked hard in our offseason and in part of our practice to gain playing time, maybe not just as starters but on special teams. We want to see what they can do against the best of what the other team has offer.”

The first day of official practice began Aug. 5.

Frye summarized what he has seen thus far in two weeks of practice heading into the scrimmage Saturday.

“Our kids have really improved, is the first thing,” Frye said. “That’s what you're looking for as a coach, not to go backward. I really have liked the improvement our kids have displayed.”

Wapak will open its season two weeks from today with a non-league home game against Bellefontaine.

NOTES: Four of Wapakoneta’s five positions along the offensive return as starters. Blake Fenning will move into the remaining open slot at left tackle. … Sophomore quarterback Aaron Huffman will start for the team in Saturday’s scrimmage. … Special teams will see time on the field Saturday; the Redskins have extensive experience in that area. … Columbian was the top team in Division II, Region 6, entering the playoffs with a 10-0 record before losing to Avon in the regional semifinals. … Findlay just missed the playoffs last season, finishing ninth in Division I, Region 2, with an 8-2 record

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