Replacing Tyler Cole at Holliday

Tyler Cole ran for nearly 2,000 yards last season for the Holliday Eagles, scoring 24 touchdowns in 13 games.

But that's all in the past.

Eagles coach Terry Wolf knows one player can't fill Tyler Cole's shoes.

"We've got a few backs that we're using," said Wolf.  "Three or four backs that we're using in a game, as opposed to mainly using him.

"We've got Twig (Austin Twiligear), and of course we've got Tyler Cole's brother (Jacob), and they're both pretty fast," said senior linebacker Mat Anderson. "They both run sub-5 (second) 40's."

They'll also look to pass the ball a little more, but that's not to say coach Wolf is going to start airing it out.

"We have very capable receivers and we have very capable quarterbacks," Wolf said. "It's going to depend on what the game dictates on what we need to do."

But the real strength of this Holliday team, just like last year, will be a suffocating defense that allowed less than 15 points per game last season and returns nine starters this year.

"The defensive line, the linebackers, the secondary, they're all returners," said coach Wolf. "And so, they're confident and they're all working together well, just picked up from last year."

"We're a lot faster than last year," said senior linebacker Taylor Hill. "We've been getting better every week."

Hill plays the middle linebacker spot, the quarterback of the defense. But he says he doesn't have to do much directing traffic out there.

"They've got it themselves," he says of his teammates. "They know what they're doing. We had a lot of experience last year in the playoffs, so they know what they're doing."

They'll need that experience for their first game of the season, Thursday night in Windthorst.

Anderson is ready to go: "Being the first game of the year, everyone's expecting big stuff from us, everyone's expecting big stuff from them, and it's just going to be the better man coming out on top and we'll just see how it turns out."