Kroner's football tour '14: Villa Grove/Heritage
VILLA GROVE — Chad Musselman has a class-action plan for the quarterbacks in his Villa Grove/Heritage system.
“For the first time, I have a quarterback at every age level,” Musselman said.
It’s also the first time since 2010 the coach hasn’t had the same quarterback behind center to start a varsity season.
Three-year starter John Henderson graduated last spring. To replace him, there’s senior Tyler Price, junior Gavin Gunter, sophomore Cole Mohr and freshman Cody Baker. Gunter is the expected starter for Friday’s home-opener.
“If someone can’t go, I have plenty of kids to fill in,” Musselman said.
That statement is appropriate for many of the positions. With a 48-player roster that includes 13 seniors and 15 juniors, there’s not only sufficient depth, but enough talent that a majority of the offensive starters will not play full-time on defense.
“I did not see it being like this,” Musselman said. “It started showing up in (summer) camp. The potential in kids shined through that I thought would take another year.”
The new quarterback will operate behind a line where three starters return side by side by side. Center Spenser Eversole is flanked by guards Jake Coffin and Brody Cole.
“It’s nice to have the interior three who are used to working together,” Musselman said.
The Blue Devils have a good situation at tackle where four juniors have been battling for playing time.
“Whoever is not at tackle will be tight ends,” Musselman said.
The candidates are Tanner Bergner, Clayton Hooker, Kaleb Robertson and Trent Schroeder.
Junior Max Daly is at fullback, the position Musselman calls, “the premier position for our offense.”
Halfback Tyler Harrison has recovered from a torn anterior cruciate ligament sustained in last year’s preseason scrimmage.
“He was a two-way starter (also playing strong safety) and that was a tremendous loss for our team,” Musselman said.
Defensively, returning starters are linemen Gavin Arnold and Noah Danner, as well as linebacker Skylur Orwick and defensive back Cole Lemmon.
“Defense is one of our stronger points,” Musselman said. “We’re very solid.”
Other linebacking possibilities include Bergner, Eversole and Dalton Mannin. Harrison and Toby Stipp are the safeties. Other front-line hopefuls are Coffin and Kyle McColgan.
“We have a lot of kids to play in the other spots,” Musselman said.