You may be able to label Clark County's 2013 campaign as an under-achievement in the realm of some sort. But take a look at their stat-sheet from last year and you'll notice a telling tale. A plethora of underclassmen got significant playing time during a 5-6 season. Now pack that with a group of kids who worked their tails off this winter, you have one hungry group up in Kahoka. These young men are ready to seize their opportunity.
Scott Murdock: "Our kids, they've taken the right path in the offseason. They probably worked harder then I've every seen this school work. Running and lifting and doing all the normal things that football does. They were really consistent. Everyday we seemed to make an improvement where we had a deficit before. You know, as a coach, that's what it's all about. We are excited about that and we can't wait to see the benefits when we get on the football field."
Colin McKee: "We definitely put more of an emphasis on our weight lifting. We've gotten a lot stronger and a lot fast during this offseason. We also added our first July camp. It was the first year we've done it. It was a little rocky, but we definitely learned a lot during that time."
Jacob Trump: "I have a lot of confidence for this season. We have a lot of returner's. We are all just excited as one, as a team. Getting a chance to come out here and play one more year from me is a huge deal. Maybe we didn't do what we wanted to last year, but every year is a new story and we're excited to get it started."
The belief and confidence after a successful offseason is exactly what Clark County should have. Scott Murdock's bunch has put in the work to bring the expectations of this Indian's team to an all-time high. In a brutal conference slate, this squad took the punches and fought their way to the playoffs where they earned a win. Now in 2014, they bring back experience on both sides of the ball. And maybe the most important of the group, running back and linebacker, Jacob Trump.
Murdock: "Jake's our guy. He's been doing it since he was in 8th grade. He's loved the game and studied the game. We are excited for him to have a great season and get all the blessings he deserves."
Trump: "You develop just a character of this is what you have to do to win. That's what I think all of us as a team realizing that last year as a sense of having a pretty young team. Just coming out and all having a leadership roll. I'm not going to put myself out there because we all have big roles on this team."
Perhaps the biggest adjustment this year will be on a unit that gave up 28 points a game in 2013. It will be critical for this team to be better on that side of the ball if they want to play deep in to November.
McKee: "This year in defense we've revamped a couple things. We are a new team. We aren't anywhere where we were last year. We've come strides from where we were. We have a bunch of guys that returned and know what to do now."
Trump: "You know, 28 points, that's way too many points again. We all realize that. And we all realize there is different focal points you have to focus on to be a great defense. We've focused on turnovers, you know, three and out. We were really bad on third down and that was one of our keys coming in to summer. Get a third down stop, three and out and get off the field. Get offensive reps not defensive reps. That's just been a big focus."
Murdock: "The big thing is execution. Just like anything else. If we can execute the gameplan and we can teach it well as coaches, we'll be alright."