Prep football two-a-days: Dixie
The 2012 season certainly had its ups and downs for Dixie, which suffered a pair of losses in region before the playoffs came along.
But the Flyers put it all together in the postseason to win the Class 3A state championship.
All four wide receivers are back from a year ago for Dixie's potent spread offensive attack, but the Flyers will need a quarterback to get the ball to those players. In line to replace graduated quarterback Blake Barney will be either junior Ammon Takau or sophomore Jaden Harrison.
"There, we've got a bit of inexperience," Dixie coach Blaine Monkres said.
But Takau or Harrison have good hands on the receiving end of their throws in the likes of seniors Drew Batchelor and Lukas Hildebrandt. And whoever gets the nod at quarterback also will have returners on the offensive line in junior Jaxon Davis and senior Gavin Graff, although Monkres still has concerns about that area of the team.
"We had two really good guys graduate and are going to have some young guys in their spots," the Flyers coach said.
Batchelor and Hildebrandt are important to the Dixie cause in more ways than their abilities on offense. Each is an experienced cog in the defensive secondary Batchelor at safety and Hildebrandt at corner.
Dixie's defense also will be anchored by Braxton Ipson at defensive end, outside linebacker Tanner Webster and middle linebacker Taylor Strehlow.
"We've got some good players, but there's something special about a team that wins state," said Monkres about his team's chances of repeating. "Obviously the cupboards are not bare, but there's a lot of factors that go into making a state championship team."
ASSIGNMENT • Class 3AA South
LAST YEAR • 11-2 overall, 4-2 Region 9
KEY RETURNER • Lukas Hildebrandt, sr., WR/CB
PLAYER TO WATCH • Drew Batchelor, sr., WR/S
BIGGEST HOLE • Quarterback
NEED TO KNOW • Though the Flyers have returners on the offensive line, they also will have to replace a pair of graduated standouts with young, inexperienced players.