QUANAH, Texas (TNN) - The Blitz on Six preseason previews continue in class 2A division two with the Quanah Indians.
The Indians were back in the playoffs last season after rare down-year in 2017, but this year’s Quanah team will look a lot different.
“Clayton Laughery was 92% of our offense last year," Quanah head coach Matt Garvin said. “We don’t have one guy this year that can take 92% of our offense. We will have to have a wide receiver that gets 30 and a running back that picks up the other 30 and a quarterback. It’s going to be more of a team effort this year."
Luckily for the Indians, last years seniors led well and set them up for success.
“I guess I just follow the flow of last year or the year before because they kind of set the standard for us and we try to beat that standard," Quanah junior LB/WR Troy Conner said.
“I was always on the sidelines with them because I’ve been a manager since 6th grade so I could learn after them, see what they do, how they lead people," Quanah junior QB Landin Leija said. "So I’m just trying to be like them.”
That leadership falls on the biggest group of players the Indians have this year.
“We only have two seniors on our football team. We have a lot of juniors that played substantial roles for us last year, but now the juniors are going to have to take on the superstar roles for us," coach Garvin, who is entering his second season, said.
One of those guys hoping to carry some of the load is junior quarterback Landin Leija, who is already working hard to transition into the signal-caller role.
“At first he was a little bit laid back, Conner said. "But now he’s pushing for it. I’ve noticed that he is a lot stronger and can throw a lot farther than last year and now he is kicked into drive.”
“I’m going to have to focus up," Leija said. "Wide receiver was hard but it wasn’t as mentally challenging as quarterback would be. So having to go from WR to QB is a whole different thing.”
One thing that can help a new quarterback is strong offensive line play and the Indians are have juniors all the way through.
“I don’t care if you are the Dallas Cowboys or the Quanah Indians, you go where your line goes," coach Garvin said. "Now there is different strengths; we were big and heavy, lost of older kids last year on the line. In a weird sense they are more experienced than last years offensive line because everything was new to everybody.”
But the one thing Garvin learned last year that he wants to improve is the importance of practice.
“Hard work, hard practices and attendance that’s for sure," Conner said. "Never loafing, just constant work.”
“Friday night was really won Monday through Thursday," coach Garvin said. They love to play, Quanah kids love to play; the lights come on, they are all in. But last year’s group., Monday drills, Tuesday drills, they were really done with it by Wednesday so learning to practice like a champion, that’s the thing I got to get these kids to do.”
Week 1: F 8/30 @ Haskell 7pm
Week 2: F 9/6 @ Seymour 7pm
Week 3: BYE
Week 4: F 9/20 @ Ralls 7pm
Week 5: F 9/27 vs Archer City 7pm
Week 6: F 10/4 vs Olney 7pm
Week 7: F 10/11 @ Wellington 7pm
Week 8: F 10/18 vs Memphis 7pm
Week 9: F 10/25 @ Munday 7pm
Week 10: F 11/1 vs Wheeler 7pm
Week 11: F 11/8 @ Shamrock 7pm