Coyotes Coming Together

For a two-game stretch last season, against Denton and Little Elm, these were the Wichita Falls High School football team's passing numbers:

Quarterback Dylan Sheffield went 70-98 for 1,163 yards and 14 touchdowns. The senior led Texoma in pass completions, pass attempts and yards in 2011.

He and many of those wide receivers have graduated, so the Coyotes are talking ground game in 2012.

"We've been running it pretty good (in training camp)," senior quarterback/safety Deshaun Young said. "Hopefully, we'll gain more yards than last year."

Since summer 7-on-7 football, head coach Jayson Lavender has been raving about a young core of running backs ready to compete in 2012. He says the Coyotes will have much more of a blend of passing and running this season.

A successful ground game should help the passing game by opening up the field.

"Then, they (the defense) will try and blitz and stop the run, and we can pop one over their heads," Young said.

Young and junior Zach Murphy are both expected to see time taking snaps this season. Murphy started on JV last season, and teammates have expressed their confidence in their new signal caller.

"He knows the routes. He knows the receivers," senior safety Will DeVilbiss said. "He's got a great relationship with everybody.

Young, who is practicing as a dual-threat, change-of-pace QB, says his time as a starting safety should benefit his offensive game.

"I know the coverages, who's going to be open, when they're open, how fast they'll be open," he said.

For either new QB, it all comes back to the success of the running game. But that ground game should also have benefits for the veteran defense, which returns seven starters.

Lavender admits that his defense took too many snaps last season.

"Last year, we were a pass-happy offense. The clock was often not running," DeVilbiss said. "Now that it'll be running, we'll get some chances to rest and have less defensive snaps, which is always a good thing."

With that rest, DeVilbiss expects improvement in tackling and forcing turnovers.

In the end, it's going to take a strong blend of veteran and younger players coming together for WFHS to make a push for the playoffs.

And for those seniors, the thought of playoffs is more than enough motivation.

"I want to go out with a bang," Devilbiss said.

WFHS 2012 Schedule

8/31 at Granbury, 7:30
9/06 vs. Burkburnett, 7:00
9/14 at Bishop Lynch, 7:30
9/28 vs. Brewer, 7:00*
10/05 at Azle, 7:00*
10/12 vs. Denton, 7:00*
10/19 at Byron Nelson, 7:00*
10/26 vs. Lake Dallas, 7:00*
11/02 at Denton Guyer, 7:00*
11/09 vs. Rider, 7:00*
*District 5-4A game