Seven Lakes has new offense
By Jason McDaniel
Seven Lakes changed its offense in the offseason twice.
Fortunately, the new, new version is still pretty much a return to its offense of two years ago, where the Spartans spread defenses out. Only now, the new quarterback will spend more time in the pocket.
This is another step from what we'd gone to in the spring, with more of a University of Texas-type spread, where the quarterback was an integral part of the running game," Seven Lakes coach Kevin O'Keefe said. This offense is more the U of H, where the quarterback is more of a true quarterback distributing the football."
The Spartans spent the spring working a spread, zone read after shifting to a run-oriented offense last season. Then they lost offensive coordinator Dan Schreiber, who took over Fort Bend Austin.
O'Keefe quickly landed the replacement he wanted, Brett Holgorsen, who most recently was the defensive coordinator at Elkins but has an extensive offensive background in high school and college.
But that meant another change in scheme to best take advantage of Holgorsen's knowledge, and he has plenty when it comes to passing. His brother, Dana Holgorsen, is the OC at Oklahoma State.
We're concerned about (multiple changes) but it's unavoidable, and we feel like we have a great answer for it," O'Keefe said. As coaches we all worked hard to learn the new system, and what we have now is a guy who knows all the answers and the adjustments."
The change did help clarify who will quarterback the Spartans this season.
O'Keefe came out of the spring with five candidates in mind, but the move to a more traditional spread pushed senior Pearce Martens, a prototypical QB with a strong arm, into the lead.
Martens plays football and baseball and chose to leave the program as a sophomore but returned last season as a junior varsity QB.
As for the rest of the QB candidates, O'Keefe says they're still in the mix, but they're now more likely to slide to other positions. And Kendall Stacks, a QB
wide receiver, may not play at all.
O'Keefe says Stacks' plan right now is to focus on a promising baseball career. But La Porte's Kendrick Perkins had the same idea last season and ended up returning to football during non-district.
We'd love to have him because he would really flourish in this offense, but we'll see," O'Keefe said.
Going into practice Monday, that leaves Jared Crosby, an all-purpose receiver who runs good routes and can stretch the field, as the top returning wideout, but O'Keefe has an answer for that problem.
Talented senior Reginald Sigers started at fullback last season and in the spring, but O'Keefe plans to move him to tight end in the new offense. Either way, Sigers already was in for an expanded role.
O'Keefe said he could be used as a Wildcat QB or slot receiver as well.
Reggie has fantastic hands and is going to catch a lot of balls (at tight end)," O'Keefe said.
The Spartans also have Dominic Rose back at tailback, along with promising newcomer John Ogelesby, and versatile junior Denzel Guillard, who O'Keefe already has several trick plays drawn up for.
That was what promoted the move from the two-back I," O'Keefe said. We have a number of kids with diverse abilities who, if you distribute the ball, can make things happen, and this offense lends itself to that."
The defense features a more experienced group, including the Spartans' first defensive player committed to a Division I school in defensive tackle Aaron Bryant, who verbally pledged to Tulane.
DE Nick Murski, inside linebacker Chris DiClemente and strong safety Blake Poncio, who's entering his third year as a starter, also will play key roles, along with JV call-ups OLB Bryant Sugg and FS Adam Jones.
The Spartans will spend most of their time the first two weeks working on offense, but O'Keefe says the defense has the potential to be a dominant unit and hopefully they do it quickly.
Seven Lakes opens the stiffened District 19-5A schedule with Katy and Cinco Ranch back-to-back.
The key is winning the games that you should win," O'Keefe said. If there's a team you feel like you match up with, those are must-wins, and then pulling out one big win, an upset over one of the powerhouses in the district, is what it's going to take to get you in (the playoffs).
We have to gear up for that and we have to get off to a good start in non-district play so we can take some confidence into district."
Local Advertising by PaperG