Quanah freshman Clay Robertson will face the lights of Friday night football for the first time this week.
"I just ignore the fact that he's a freshman, cause he'll fool you into thinking he's not," Quanah head coach Jason Sims said.
To add to the freshman's shoulders, he's under the biggest magnifying glass of them all because he's playing quarterback. Robertson takes over the snaps for an Indians team that advanced to the regional semifinals last season, but he's got the support of current players.
Senior lineman/linebacker Jordon Morris says Robertson's doing a good job and that he'll progress as the season goes. Coach Sims is on board as well, saying that the kids have seen has how he leads the offense and spreads the ball around.
"He's been a quarterback from the time he could walk. His skill set is unbelievable," Sims said. "He's more technical than most quarterbacks that I've been around that are seniors."
Sims will be relying on a veteran offensive line to protect his young QB. Robertson will also be without runningback Roderick Woodard, who now suits up for Midwestern State. Many of those offensive lineman also anchor the defensive line, which Sims says is the strength of his team. Quanah returns six starters on the defense, many of them seniors.
"It's my last year. I'm not going to have it after this," senior lineman Brady Whitaker said. "I'm going to go out there and play my hardest."
The veterans are also key because many players are switching positions entering 2011. Morris moved from fullback to offensive lineman because, as he simply put it, "it's best for the team."
With a young quarterback, new faces in new places and an anxious veteran defense, Sims says a good start is the early goal of the season.
"We want to be as good as we can get as early as possible," Sims said. "With a sense of urgency, that gets accomplished a lot faster."
Quanah opens the season on the road at Memphis Friday.