Osage Football Team Looks Forward Despite Losing Starters

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The Osage High School football team finished 2011 with a trip to the state semifinals and an undefeated regular season.

This year, only three starters are back. But their responsibility of leading the team hasn't changed, and they'll look to build upon their success Friday against Moberly High School.

One returner is junior quarterback Bo Dean, who in Osage's opening victory against Fulton High School rushed for 78 yards and four touchdowns and threw for 365 yards and one touchdown.

Senior Donald Hudlemeyer is also back for 2012, but he's out injured for the first few weeks. When Hudlemeyer returns, he'll be carrying the ball instead of protecting it. His impressive weight-room numbers and 4.5-second 40-meter dash speed are allowing him to transition from all-state offensive lineman to running back, head coach Dan Henderson said.

"I'm excited just because I love to run the ball," Hudlemeyer said. "It's fun. It's different."

Hudlemeyer played running back his sophomore year.

Senior Tyler Winn rounds out the returning starters. He's switching positions from defensive lineman to linebacker and will also get offensive minutes at right tackle.

"He's our junk-yard dog," Henderson said. "He's down and dirty. He'll get after you."