DALHART, Texas (KFDA) - As if high school football in Texas wasn't hard enough, sometimes a team has to deal with an injury and sometimes it’s multiple.
“Our starting quarterback went down, our backup quarterback went down, and so we went to our other backup quarterback who was playing receiver at the time and threw him into the mix” said Head Coach Joey Read. “He ended up doing an awesome job, he was quarterback most of the season, and was a quarterback in the playoff win.”
Even with that adversity, Coach Read and the Dalhart Wolves still managed to go 7-5 but now that the quarterback situation is better, the team agrees its ceiling is much higher than last year's comeback season.
“You know, we had some close games last season. There was one game in particular that we definitely should've won, I feel like we were cheated out of it.” said senior left tackle Luke Osuna. “I’m saying we're going to get at least two more games that we are going to step up.”
It's that attitude, combined with a strong core of juniors and seniors that Read thinks will help them reach that higher benchmark.
“We had quite a few sophomores play for us last year, they're going to be juniors and we have about 13 seniors and they’re going to be leaders for the team.” said Coach Read. “They’re going to eventually pass the baton down to the juniors, but they’ve done real well and they are definitely going to get some good experience playing.”
One such leader will be explosive running back and safety Ladaryl Smith, and he says that he's looking forward to being back on the field.
To him, there's no better feeling than working with his offensive lineman, finding those perfect holes and bursting through to help his team effectively move the ball, something Coach Read will rely on in their heavy spread offense.
“That's like the best feeling in the world, nothing can top it.” said Smith.
“So offensively, add a few plays and get a lot better at RPO's and the screen pass options, and effectively run the ball and try and score as many points and keep the defense off the field.” said Coach Read. “That's kind of what we're really focused on, just getting better than what we were last year.”
Dalhart opens up its season at home on August 30 with a non-conference match up against the Muleshoe Mules.