By Scott Taylor | @Taylor_Sports
After scoring just 204 points last year in 10 games, the Plainfield South offense will look to improve behind an experienced quarterback and offensive line. Nick Deppe returns at quarterback after guiding the Cougars to the playoffs last year as the starter. He will have a pair of senior offensive linemen in front of him in Angel and Rumaldo Diaz.
“Nick brings leadership, poise and is a kid the other players look to,” first-year coach William Bicker said. “Angel and Rumaldo bring size and experience.”
Deppe will have a new cast of skill players to get the ball to in running backs Sayvaun Roberts and Veshawn Ward and receivers Tom Macari and Vick Ballard.
“Sayvaun is a tremendous athlete with big play ability,” Bicker said. “Veshawn is one of the most respected kids on the team and is a player you can count on. Tom is a great route runner with great hands and is a playmaker. Vick is a playmaker with good hands and competes.”
Bicker is looking for the offense to be balanced and possess the football, while taking what the defense gives them. The keys to success his year will be offensive line play, good decisions at the quarterback spot and to create big plays, according to Bicker.
A defense that allowed just 168 points last year loses several key pieces, but also has some key returners, led by the Portz brothers, Jake and Nick. Jordan Eskridge is also back at linebacker and Joe Yanke returns at safety.
“Jake is an all around great player and kid,” Bicker said. “He is a leader with outstanding work ethic. Nick is extremely talented and a tough player. Joe is a smart, tough player and a leader in the secondary. Jordan is super athletic.”
They will be joined this year by junior linebacker Zach Sutphin and senior defensive backs Angel Nixon and Jared Winston.
“Angel gets better every day, is very instinctive and makes plays,” Bicker said. “Jared is a tough, physical corner and Zach is athletic, tough and always around the ball.”
Bicker is hoping to eliminate big plays, force turnovers and stop the run. He feels the squad has the potential to be very good, but they will need to replace the defensive line from a year ago that wrecked havoc on opposing offenses.
“We are looking for players to step up on the defensive line,” Bicker said. “We need to make our reads and play disciplined. We have to play smart and communicate.”
Coming off a playoff berth and with a new head coach, the goals this year for the Cougars are simple – win the next game and get better every day.
“Wins will follow if we focus on continued improvement,” Bicker said. “We need everybody to come together and stay healthy. Our best athletes need to make player when there are plays to be made.”
Bicker is looking forward to the all-Southwest Prairie Conference schedule as there will be a lot of big rivalry games on tap this season.