New offense, lots of youngsters for Kingswood football
|QUARTERBACK Cam Whitcomb hands off to Kohl Meyers during scrimmage action on Saturday in Meredith. Jeff Lajoie. (click for larger version)|
August 29, 2011WOLFEBORO — The most important thing new Kingswood football coach Chip Skelley hopes to bring to the program is stability.
"The important thing is stability," Skelley said. "We haven't had that, with six new coaches in 10 years. That's not conducive to developing a program, never mind a winning program.
"The programs that are winning around the state are the programs that have stability," he continued.
Skelley, a Kingswood alum who is a long-time assistant coach and has been the Kingswood baseball coach for many, many seasons, is looking to provide the kind of stability it takes to build the program back to levels where the Knights are playoff contenders.
One thing he is contending with in his first season are unique numbers.
"Numbers are interesting, I guess that is the word," Skelley said. The team has 26 freshman and only three juniors.
"Although we have 16 seniors, we're still pretty young and will be for a couple of years," he noted. "Next year, looking at three seniors, that kind of hurts your varsity program."
With such a large class of freshmen, Skelley and his coaching staff have been working to make sure that everyone gets included in everything in the first few weeks of practice.
"The first three weeks, that's how we're going to approach it," Skelley said. "We're giving everyone the same information from the same people. When we feel we can separate, we separate."
The Knights will be switching things up offensively, but will basically be staying the same on defense. Skelley anticipates defense being a strength because the kids returning from last season will hopefully still have a grasp of the defense and with only minor terminology changes, should be ready to go.
On offense, the Knights will be running a double-wing set, a run-oriented offense that Skelley calls "old-school."
"We're trying to figure out what can be successful from year-to-year, which allows us to be consistent throughout the program from (grades) seven to 12," he said. "And we think this can be successful at that middle school level too."
After voting on captains by the team, six seniors rose to the top of the list and all six will be charged with providing leadership for the Knights.
Cam Whitcomb will be the team's quarterback and will play in the defensive backfield. BJ Smith will be the fullback and play linebacker. Jake Vontz will be a halfback and a linebacker. Noah DeMaio will play offensive guard and linebacker. Kohl Meyers will be a running back and defensive back and Kevin Bisson will be the center and a defensive tackle.
"They are the six leaders," Skelley said. "Most of them have been on the team for four years. They've been around a bit."
The Knight coach noted that he is looking for the captains to step up as role models for the huge crop of younger kids on the team.
"I told them, you guys have to show the younger guys how it should be done," Skelley said.
He noted that to date, the kids appear to be buying into what the coaches are preaching, though it's a matter of time to find out if that transfers into wins.
"Hopefully they're buying into what we're doing and so far they are, but whether or not that transfers to wins is another story," Skelley said.
The team traveled to Inter-Lakes for a jamboree on Saturday and came away with only one minor injury from the day, an improvement from last year, when injuries played a large role in the preseason.
However, the heat and humidity on Saturday didn't do the Knights any favors, as the team had basically had nothing but great weather throughout the preseason and all of a sudden had to deal with the hottest day in weeks.
"But the kids felt better in the second half," Skelley said.
Skelley will be joined by offensive coordinator Tony Kendall, defensive coordinator Brian Mills, JV coach Dave Lane and freshman coach Tom McCullough.
The Knights open the season on Saturday, Sept. 3, at 1:30 p.m. at John Stark in Weare. It is the Knights' lone day game of the year.
The first home game comes against rival Plymouth on Friday, Sept. 9, at 7 p.m.
Joshua Spaulding can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 569-3126