Kroner's football tour '14: A-L/A-H
ARTHUR — Seniority rules within the Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond football program.
The Knights’ front-liners in 21 of the 22 offensive or defensive positions are seniors. The lone exception is junior linebacker Tyler Smith.
“We have an experienced senior group,” A-L/A-H coach Dale Schuring said. “That’s something to build with, but after the seniors, most haven’t played high school football before. There’s little depth behind the seniors.”
On the list of projected starters, 10 of the Knights’ seniors will be two-way regulars. Another senior, David Rosenbaum, will start at guard.
Three of the seniors — Drake Nelson (center/defensive tackle), Tyler Schuring (quarterback/defensive back) and Steven Wright (running back/linebacker) — are fourth-year varsity players.
Tyler Schuring accounted for 2,187 yards and 30 touchdowns last year between his running and throwing. He needs about 250 yards rushing and 800 passing to become the program’s career leader in each area.
“He’s got to lead us vocally and by his performance,” Dale Schuring said about his son. “He knows the offense inside and out and has to be the playmaker and keep things under control.”
Wright rushed for 398 yards last season and will be one of the featured backs, along with Kyle Feagin and Hunter Kamm. Cole Garmon and Nathan Roe are the receivers.
The Knights’ offensive line “fits well with what we’re trying to do,” Dale Schuring said. All five have some starting experience. Drake Nelson is the center. Rosenbaum and Hunter Dyer are guards. Dylan Black and Graeme Stewart are the tackles. Led by the 280-pound Dyer, the line averages 223 per player.
Black, Dyer, Nelson and Wright are among the squad members who “really killed the weight room and improved their strength and quickness,” Dale Schuring said.
While the prospects are bright for the current season, the coach realizes the long-term outlook is alarming. Four freshmen and four sophomores are in football.
“We would hope with three schools coming together, it would make a difference (with the numbers),” Dale Schuring said, “but it’s not happening. We’re debating whether to play JV. The future is in question.”
A-L/A-H opens the season Aug. 29 at Villa Grove before starting a homestand that encompasses September.
Coach: Dale Schuring, 12th year
2013 record: 8-3
2014 roster size: 30
Home opener: Sept. 5, vs. Martinsville, 7 p.m.