Kendrick High School Football - 2011 Preview
August 18, 2011Kendrick High School
Say what you will about Kendrick’s three consecutive 1-9 seasons, but the athletes and coaches there believe things are looking up for 2011.
Thee team returns several key components - four-year starter LB/FB Jakey Harris, for example - and six returning starters. And the 30-plus freshman on the squad should be an indication of how much interest there is in a team that its coaches admit has been plagued by bad attitudes and worse work ethics in recent seasons.
“There’s a big improvement, especially with people sticking to the team,” senior lineman Nathan Faumuina said. “In my previous years here, they would drop off the team before school starts in the summer. but this year we had a pretty good bunch stick together.”
But the real impressive feat has started at the top of the chain with the eight seniors, six of which were starters last season.
“There is a lot of leadership this year,” Kendrick coach Jerry Dukes said. “A lot more than we had before, and I’m impressed with it. It’s not like what we have had before.”
What to expect
Certainly no one is getting too far ahead of themselves at Kendrick. The athletes I spoke with tempered their expectations and made judgements based on how hard they know they and their teammates will work.
Running game, O-line improving
Faumuina said the running game was the team’s strongest asset in the preseason but that the offensive line needs to buckle down a bit more before it can expect to improve on last year’s 1-9 season.
“Strength-wise, I think it’s our running the ball,” Faumuina said. “We are trying to get the linemen together, trying to get a better line. Without the line, there are no blocks and you can’t get anywhere with the running game.”
Dukes said he will look to Harris, who had about 300 yards rushing last season, to take a bigger role in the offense, which means more carries and more catches.
Like the rest of the improvements Kendrick is making, Dukes is taking a tempered approach to competing in Region 5-AA, which is home to returning top-10 teams in Carver and Callaway.
"There are always going to be teams at the top of the region, like Carver and like Callaway, and there are always going to be teams at the bottom, and there are always going to be teams in the middle," Dukes said. "Our goal isn't to go out there and say we're going to win the region overnight. We want to win some games and be right in the middle of that pack competing for a playoff spot, and hopefully we can get one this year."
The Cherokees take the field at home verses Randolph Clay Thursday Aug 25 Thu 7:30 PM (Memorial Stadium)