Seward back in rebuilding mode

Posted: Thursday, August 14, 2003

Cliff Draper, in his second year as head coach in Seward, will try and lead the Seahawks to their third-straight small-schools playoff berth.

The Seahawks have just three seniors and only a handful of returners.

"We're in the learning stages," Draper said. "We are emerging as a football team."

Leading those returners is junior Ray Ledet, a second-team all-state tackle last year. Ledet will play defensive end and fullback this season.

Other returners are senior tailback Cody Gilmore, senior defensive corner Sean Chase, junior center Charles Logan and junior guard Cale Tippit.

Draper also is looking for big things from sophomore quarterback Coty Beck and junior wideout Charlie Rininger.

"This year, we're so young and so inexperienced, we'll win a few games, a couple games, but I wouldn't call us a contender by any stretch of the imagination right now," Draper said.

In the past, the Seahawks have made up what they lack in depth and talent with grit. Draper sees that familiar work ethic this year.

"Our strength is our unity and teamwork," the coach said. "We've got a bunch of good attitudes. We don't have many kids displaying a bad attitude. They're all coachable.

"They're willing to learn, work hard and train hard. They're going to get in good shape, because I guarantee that's the only thing that's going to keep us in games."

Draper said one of the big keys for the team will be avoiding injuries. The Seahawks only have a total of 33 players on their junior varsity and varsity rosters, so a few key injuries will be exceptionally tough to handle.

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