Sunday feature: A new offense and many new starters make 2015 Crusader football team a mystery

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Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments 2015 Wellington Crusader football team.by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Ten things to know about the 2015 Wellington High School Crusader football team—1. The essentials — Head coach: Tyler Ryan, fourth year. Overall Wellington record: 12-15. Record last year: 5-4. Assistant coaches: Ryan Elder, Tony Ybarra, T.D. Buck, Zane Aguilar, Rick Phelps, Nick Wellington, Ross Foley.  Foley replaces Jesse Dale, who resigned and moved to Colorado.2. Who’s gone?—Gone are 20 seniors from last year’s WHS roster including 2,692 of the 3034 yards of offense accumulated in 2014. Former Quarterback Trevor Nance threw for 1,666 yards with 831 yards going to seniors most notably Colin Reichenberger – Wellington’s nifty record breaking receiver. On the rushing end, the Dukes had 1,368 yards rushing and all but 11 yards graduating.Wellington football coaches implement new Wing T offense.3. Enter the wing T offense—Those who attended the first week and Crusader Club scrimmages saw something different: the wing T offense — a set in which the quarterback lines up directly under center with three running backs positioned not far behind him in a straight line. The backs are positioned tight and will include what Ryan hopes is a deceptive form of offense in which any of the three running backs might have the ball or not.“In years past, we have geared our offense to one or two players,” Ryan said. “This will be more of a make up by committee approach. You’ll see a lot of people being rotated in and out.”Ryan believes this is an approach that will work and will rely on Wellington’s biggest strength: it’s the offensive line.“We have to know our schemes really well,” Ryan said. “This seems like a radical approach from years past. But in the end of the day, we will be doing the same iso, power, traps and counters we have always been doing— just in a different alignment formation.”Cade Phelps will lead the team as quarterback.4. Who is the quarterback?—Without a doubt, the biggest question of the Crusader offseason is who will replace Nance who has been starting at that position since his sophomore year.Ryan is going back to a sophomore, Cade Phelps, a 6-2, 170 pounder with no varsity experience.“We told him this spring, he needs to come into the football season a lot stronger and faster,” Ryan said. “He seems to have done just that and has grasped the schemes well.”The question will be youth and running this new offense. Ryan said Jared Shields, a 6-2, 275 pound, sr. could come into substitute.5. The three backset—Ryan said he has not chosen who will start next Friday at Augusta in the backfield. But the likely starters will most certainly have Connor Phelps, a 6-1, 185 pound, sr., who accumulated 807 yards receiving in 2014. The question will be where will Phelps lineup in the backfield. Ryan said the wing T will include several wide sets for possible passing plays.Also look for Logan Jones, a 6-0, 220 pound, jr. and Remington Gilkey, a 5-10, 150 pound, sr. in the starting lineup. Gilkey started for Reichenberger when he was out with an injury.The offensive and defensive line will be the anchor for this team.6. The offensive line—This group will be the anchor and strength of the team Ryan said.Three players will return with a vengeance. Nick Hyde (6-2, 210, sr.), Jace Lowe (6-3, 260, sr.), and Jason “Peanut” Norris (6-3, 250, Sr.) will bring experience, bulk, and power to what could be one of the best lines in the league. At the time of the interview, Ryan had not decided on the other two starters.Connor Burnett, (6-1, 290, jr.), is Wellington’s biggest player on the team and has been moved to tight end – which could prove to be an interesting dynamic. On the other side, expect Shields to get the start.7. Defensively—Defensively, Wellington loses three of its five 100-plus tacklers from 2014. However, the Norris returns with 114 tackles and Phelps with 122 tackles from 2014.“I feel the defensive line has the makings of being very, very good,” Ryan said. “This is good because our linebackers and safety positions still need some work.”The front line should be some of the same people you will see the offensive line. The linebacking and safety players include Shields, Skyler Struble (5-11, 160, sr.), Gilkey, the Phelps brothers among others.“It’s going to be a lot like the offense, in that we will be substituting several player in and out,” Ryan said.Mulvane has been the true thorn in Wellington’s side these past four years.8. The competition—In 2014, Wellington started the season 4-0 before seeing the rug pull out from under them and losing four out of the final five games and missing the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year. The district, the final three games that determines Wellington’s playoff fate, won’t be easy. Ulysses, which will be making the long trek here this year, is getting all kinds of love, ranked No. 4 in Class 4A Div. 1 in the preseason Wichita Eagle poll.The Crusaders should be competitive against Rose Hill, which will ultimately lead to the game with Mulvane as the test of getting into the playoffs for the first time since 2010.Forget, Andale. Mulvane has had Wellington’s number the past four years and is the reason for the Crusader drought.Before then, Wellington has its work cut out for it. Augusta, once a doormat, was listed in “others” in the preseason poll. Then there are the annual showdowns with Andale and Wichita Collegiate. (see schedule here).9. Predictions—In the preseason Vype Magazine has Wellington slated to finish third in the Ark Valley Chisholm Trail League Division IV coaches poll. Wichita Collegiate is slated as the team to beat with Andale finishing second. After Wellington, Mulvane is fourth, Clearwater is fifth and Circle is sixth.In the Class 4A-1 Wichita Eagle rankings the top five goes: 1. Miege, 2. Buhler, 3. Andover Central, 4. Ulysses, 5. Topeka Hayden. In Class 4A-2, Andale is ranked No. 1 with Columbus, Holton, Holcomb and Santa Fe Trail rounding out the top 5.The new Security State Bank 45 second clock posts look sweet as does all of Sellers Park football stadium.10. Odds and ends—Wellington has just eight seniors this year. Interesting tidbit, when senior Skyler Struble’s dad was playing in 1992, there were seven seniors on that team. The 1992 Crusaders went on to play in the state championship game— Wellington’s first home game is Sept. 11 against Goddard Eisenhower. It should be a hoot with new goal posts, new 45-second clock posts, and the ADA accessibility on the home stands. Sellers Park looks as good as it has in years.Cade Phelps will lead the team as quarterback.Mulvane has been the true thorn in Wellington’s side these past four years.The new Security State Bank 45 second clock posts look sweet as does all of Sellers Park football stadium.Follow us on Twitter.last_img

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