2013 KHQA BARNSTORM TOUR: CHIEFS SHOWCASE NEW LOOK, SAME EXPECTATIONS
What was once the most dynamic Offense in the Tri States is barely recognizable.
With all the marquee names having graduated, Keokuk returns just 240 yards of proven production from last season.
Doug Dodds: "We did graduate quite a bit last season but the best thing for us has been that our young guys have really stepped up. They've had a wonderful summer. They've worked really, really hard. And they've really grasped our offense. And they hit the ground running. And I can't complain about their effort and how fast they've been picking things up. It's been awesome."
Dakota Shaw: "I think that we can step in and fill in the shoes we just have got to find the right people who want to hustle and do the work."
The plug and play approach is in full effect in the Gate City as Doug Dodds looks to recoup the nearly 4500 yards of production it accounted for a year ago. It starts with a new trigger man at Quarterback.
Drake Reiter: "I've been working hard this summer. I just come into practice everyday wanting to learn, wanting to get better. Learning more about the system, about the Defense. And just working as hard as I can to improve each day."
Doug Dodds: "Drake is a great person to have on our football team. He does the right things. That's where it all starts. A guy that makes the right decisions at the line of scrimmage. And then we can go from there."
The Chiefs Ground Game will get a full make-over as well. Good looking, holdover Offensive Linemen Ryan Egley and Tanner Stinson inherit the burden of helming what was one of the states biggest, most physical groups. Trevor Roth's considerable contributions running the football could be divied up. Dakota Shaw's rise will help account for some of the lost physicality.
Doug Dodds" I think production in the ground game this year is coming to come down to just a group of guys. I mean we are probably going to have a couple of different types of backs. Dakota Shaw has stepped up and he's been doing a nice job at Tailback. And we've had some younger guys and some quicker guys step in an do their thing too."
That collective could include transfer Bryton Smith, who looked like the next great Illini West tailback after accumulating 815 yards and 12 TD a year ago. And to round out the skill positions, the Receiver Poll, led by Bryce Baxter, is good and deep as well. Whatever level of production Doug Dodds coaxes from his rebuilt Offense, it won't matter unless there is substantial improvement on the other side of the football.