Healthy Bobcats want a taste of the playoffs
Franklin County Times
PHIL CAMPBELL – Phil Campbell Bobcats spent much of last year's 2-8 season without a starting quarterback and was forced to depend heavily on the running game instead of its usual spread passing attack.
"We want our offense to be as balanced as possible this year to keep defenses off-balance," Phil Campbell coach Kelly Kiser said. "We didn't have a backup quarterback last year after Jonathan Dill got hurt, and defenses would stack nine or 10 guys in the box. Stephen Lacey and Paxton Rice did a commendable job, but they were running backs, and not really quarterbacks."
Dill returns under center for the Bobcats after missing seven games in 2006 due to a broken foot suffered against West Morgan.
"Jonathan does a good job running and passing, which keeps the defenses from crowding the box," Kiser said.
Dill will be joined in the backfield by fullback Nathan Rackard, wing back Caleb Thompson and Lacey at tailback
"Nathan is the type of runner who will gain at least three or four yards per carry because he runs so hard, while Stephen is more of a finesse-type runner. Nathan and Stephen can both catch the ball out of the backfield, which gives us more options offensively."
Adam Mitchell and Jordan Taylor are set at the wide receivers positions, and Kiser said he would like to find a couple more players to round out the receiving corps.
"We're pretty set at the skill positions, but we're still looking for some wide receivers," Kiser said. "This is Adam and Jordan's first year at wide receiver – Adam's a little stronger and Jordan has a lot of quickness. They're both just good athletes, and Adam has also been a pleasant surprise at placekicker."
On the offensive line, Seth Brown returns at center. He will be joined by tackles Chris Baker and Hunter Hilliard and guard Daniel Bryant. and Ryan Champion is close to locking down the other guard sport.
"Just like every other team, we want to to make the playoffs," Kiser said. "But our biggest goal this year is to be competitive and give ourselves a chance to win every game."
The Bobcats open their season Aug. 31 at Haleyville and then host county rival Red Bay on Sept. 7 to start Class 2A, Region 8 play.