Salisbury at Slater FNF Week 6
|8 / 22||Santa Fe||Away||Loss||14 - 66|
|8 / 29||Braymer||Home||Loss||14 - 47|
|9 / 5||Milan||Away||Loss||6 - 73|
|9 / 12||Sacred Heart||Home||Loss||12 - 54|
|9 / 19||Fayette||Home||Loss||12 - 55|
|9 / 26||Salisbury||Home||Loss||20 - 68|
|10 / 3||Paris||Away||Loss||0 - 57|
|10 / 10||Westran||Home||Loss||0 - 73|
|10 / 17||Marceline||Home||Loss||0 - 53|
|10 / 24||Westran||Away||Loss||6 - 61|
Slater High School is coming off a difficult 0-10 season and the program has not won more than 3 games in a season since 2005, when they went 7-2. Lance Barlow will take over the struggling program. He has been an assistant coach at Slater the past two years.
"We had quite a few injuries throughout the 2013 season," Coach Barlow said. "We did lead at halftime in five of our 10 games." Lack of depth was a huge issue for Slater, as they had only 19 players. It's hard to win many games with that few players, who had no choice but to play on both sides of the ball. Slater returns just five lettermen, two on each side of the ball.
Senior Cole Skinner (6-0, 160) will play quarterback after playing primarily running back in 2013. Skinner has good speed and this year Coach Barlow will get to see him show off his arm. Skinner has worked hard this off-season and he's being counted on to lead Slater on and off the field. Slater needs him to play well if they are going to win a few more games this season. To quote former Miami Dolphins Head Coach Don Shula, "Sure, luck means a lot in football. Not having a good quarterback is bad luck."
Skinner will look to throw to senior WR Joey Clark (5-10, 160) and junior TE Fred Dovgorouki (5-11, 175). Up front, Slater was hoping that offensive lineman senior Andrew Adkins would be able to return from spring knee surgery, but he will sadly miss most of the season. The offensive line is important to Slater, as they run an I-formation offense and will rush the ball a lot. Look for a trio of juniors on the offensive line; Albert Foster (5-9, 190), Shovey Jackson (5-9, 180) and Dalton Jackson (5-9, 175).
Senior Spencer Peel (5-11, 155) will start at running back for the first time in his career. He has good speed and is tough to tackle for not being a big player. He hopes to catch a few passes out of the backfield on top of carrying the ball 20+ times per game. He has been working hard to learn the playbook and he will be ready to roll come Slater's first game in August.
Sophomore Dallas Kirby (5-11, 150) will also get a few carries at running back. He has solid speed as well and Coach Barlow is excited he will still be around the program for a few more years. He has a good attitude and is expected to help turn this program around. Two freshmen will also be in the mix in the backfield, Bryant Smith (5-9, 155) and Larenz Moore (5-9, 150). Both have good speed and will add depth to the RB position.
Slater averaged an impressive 265 yards per game last year and they'll look to improve on that this year. They would like to average more than the 17.3 points per game they averaged in 2013. "Our offense has a positive outlook on this upcoming season," Coach Barlow said.
Defense wins championships, which means that it certainly can win games. Slater allowed an average of 49 points and they simply have to improve that number in 2014 if they want to be better. Along the D-Line look for Fred Dovgorouki and Albert Foster and at linebacker watch for Shovey Jackson, Dalton Jackson and the youngster Bryant Smith. These defensive linemen and Backers have to work well together if they are to improve at stopping the run first and disrupting opponents passing games. Cole Skinner will play defensive back when he's not on offense. He hopes to add a few interceptions to his resume this season and also impresses coaches around the conference with his effort on both sides of the ball. He will be joined in the secondary by Joey Clark and Larenz Moore.
Coach Barlow will be assisted by coaches Adam Ronnfeldt, John Roberts and Zach Crews. Rome wasn't built in a day, and Slater won't become a dominant program overnight. They need a lot of things to go right, most notably more young men to come out for football. But given some time, this coaching staff will make positive additions to the school and community.
Pigskin's Pick: 2-7