The Lincoln High School football team isn't concentrating on what it lost from last year's playoff squad.
For this preview, if you want some specifics, the Cougars are replacing four out of five lineman, a quarterback, tailback and receiver.
"We've been doing a lot of reps. A lot more than last year," commented junior Receiver/Safety Ty Seible. "Last year we had Tyler Benton, a great running back, we could hand the ball off and count on him. We've been repping a lot more with the receiving game. We lost a big line. The line's been repping a lot too. They've been working hard. I think we're going to surprise some people. Last year though, it's the Lincoln Cougars, 3-7, 4-6, and we came out and shocked them. I think they're thinking oh we lost a lot of people but I think we're going to come out and surprise some people."
Head Coach Robert Herrod said the team does have experience back and the other replacements Lincoln is finding are just as good, if not better and he's excited about their potential. The players are also looking forward to the challenge of repeating the 2011 team's success.
"Practice has been going real well. Our kids have been coming out and working hard each day," said Coach Herrod. "I think they understand what it's supposed to be now after a pretty good season last year, they understand what we expect out of them. Overall we're pretty happy with where we're at. We have a lot of improving to do, we're a young ball club, but overall we're pretty happy with where we're at."
"Well we've got a new quarterback this year. He's only a sophomore this year but he's got a really good arm and he knows what he's doing and he's a really talented kid, so I think we'll be alright there," said junior Receiver/Linebacker Dillon O'Del. "Right now we're really fast. We have a lot of speed on the team. I think that will help us a lot on defense."
Lincoln will be putting the ball in the air this year. It will basically be the exact opposite of the 2011 offense. The Cougars could throw it ever down if they need to according to Coach Herrod and that style of offense fits his personnel. Coach knows when you air it out you have to execute of you'll get a lot of three and outs and put the defense in stressful situations. BUT, Lincoln knows this year they have to score if they want to win.
"Well, I mean, I think it's going to be exciting. I think when you come to a Lincoln football game, compared to other places where you see a lot of the running game and things are slowed down, we're a very fast paced team, high tempo," said Coach Herrod. "The ball, it's going to be put in the air 35 or 40 times a game. I think you're going to get your money's worth when you come out to watch us and I think our kids will play hard every snap. That's all we can ask out of them. If we can catch some breaks, I think we'll have a good year."
Of course Lincoln's goal for the season is to make it to the playoffs. This year the Cougars also want to win a post season game. That has never happened in school history.