As losing star Marty Williams to graduation, the Predators slumped to 2-8 with a young team. But coach Russell Schneider expects progress with the team he has now.
The optimism starts with Deondre Baskett, who did a little bit of everything this past season and will be the starting quarterback this year.
“He’s probably our standout, but there’s more depth than we’ve had – there’s depth for the first time,” Schneider said.
As a junior, Baskett played just about everywhere for a Fox Creek offense that struggled to score most of the year. Though he tore his ACL during basketball season, Baskett is healthy and ready for his senior season.
With Baskett’s dual-threat ability, the Predators will run a pistol offense, and sometimes go with the option.
Schneider compared Baskett to Williams, who put up more than 3,000 offensive yards in 2011. However, this year’s Predators offense has some balance with running back Ikel El, lineman Alan Randall and tight end Brett Butler, among others, so Baskett won’t be out there alone.
Defensively, a solid line will be a strength.
As for the schedule, Fox Creek will test its improvement right away. Class AAA Dreher, Class A Division II state runner-up McCormick and SCISA Class AAA defending champ Augusta Christian make up three of the first four games.
It’s a daunting schedule even before region play starts, but the Predators have the positive mindset needed to turn around their fortunes in 2013.
“It’s about being confident, knowing we can do it,” Butler said. “And after we do it, it’s letting everyone know we did it.”