Coach Kyle Langford has never shied away from giving young players a lot of time on the field.
When he began his tenure in 2007, he knew that in order for Towns County to be competitive, players would have to start playing young and gain valuable experience. That philosophy could pay off this season. With 16 returning starters, the Indians should be in position to improve on a 2-8 mark in 2009.
“We have a lot of four-year starters,” Langford said. “Since I got here, we decided that we were going to go young and these guys have been preparing for this season for three years.”
Langford believes that playing young players has led him to a large and experienced group of older players that “supplies great leadership.”
The Indians will face several challenges this season, including the loss of 2009’s leading passer, rusher and receiver, but won’t be without strengths as well.
All five defensive linemen have multiple years experience starting and as many as six players should see time at linebacker.
Freshman Jackson Noblet will be taking the reins at quarterback this season and he will have deep shoes to fill. John Swilley, who threw for more than 1,000 yards last season, is gone. Working in Towns County’s favor is that, when he has to throw, Noblet will have three seniors running routes for him: Devin Henderson, Alan Turpin and Billy Meier. All three started last season and helped Swilley to a completion percentage of 46 percent.
With such a young arm behind center, the Indians may have to rely heavily on their running game. Langford believes that all the pieces are there for the Indians to have a good season rushing.
All five starting offensive linemen, three seniors and two sophomores, have been starters at some point in their career.
Junior Noah Calhoun started the final five games of 2009 at running back.
With nine of 11 starters from last year’s team returning this season, defense will be a strong point for the Indians.
Langford feels that the main strength of the team as a whole lies in the experience they have across the entire line and the depth that the team has a linebacker.
Sophomore linebacker Joseph Foster led the team in tackles with 84 in 2009 and will anchor a linebacker corps that Langford believes is “much improved” from a year ago and consists of three seniors and three juniors.
“For the first time since I’ve been here, we’ve really got depth at linebacker,” Langford said.
Returning kicker Calhoun will kickoff and attempt extra points for the Indians this season.
After finishing less than ideally in 2009, the Indians are poised to make a statement this season.