Seward expects to gain steam

Many solid players miss early season due to summer work

Posted: Friday, August 19, 2005

Both the future of this season and the future of the program look bright for Seward football.

Last season, the Seahawks made a seamless transition from the coaching staff of head coach Cliff Draper to the staff of co-coaches Mark Woodward and Roger Steinbrecher. Seward made its third trip to the playoffs in the last four years and Woodward and Steinbrecher shared small-schools coach of the year honors.

This season, Woodward said he hopes to get to the playoffs again. He said the Seahawks might get a slow start because many players make money fishing in the summer and aren’t done working by the start of football practice. The players need 10 practices before they can compete in a game.

“I’m looking for us to be going full speed in the third or fourth game,” Woodward said. “By then, I think we’ll be able to field a team against anybody.

“Our strongest point of the season will be the middle to end.”

While Woodward is excited about the season, he’s also excited about a more distant future. Seward has a class of about 22 freshmen out for football.

Woodward said there are two freshmen who already are 6-foot-3 and 275 or 280 pounds. He said the rest of the class also is good size.

“They’re not ready to play varsity,” Woodward said. “We’re thinking that if they stick it through, by the time they are seniors, they could be playing for a state championship.”

This year’s team must replace about seven or eight graduates. Woodward said most of those losses came on the line, leaving most of the skill-position players intact.

The team will again be led by senior quarterback Coty Beck. In the seven games from which the Clarion received stats last season, Beck passed for 721 yards. He is the leading returning passer on the peninsula.

Woodward said Beck went to a camp this summer at the University of Nebraska and did well for himself. Woodward said the coaches were especially impressed with Beck’s ability to boom long field goals.

Woodward said the Sea-hawks will employ the same offense as they did last year.

“We try to get the ball to the best players and let them do the magic,” Woodward said. “We want to get the ball in Coty’s hands.”

Senior running back Jake Wilder is another skill-position player who should see the ball a lot. Wilder, in seven games, ran for 353 yards last season.

Senior running back Jason Weber, who ran for 243 yards in seven games, also returns.

Woodward also sees potential in split end Nick Spurr, a sophomore. Junior Billy Beck, who is 6-foot-3 and not related to Coty, also should gobble up passes.

Woodward said his two top linemen will be senior James Asse and junior Caleb Adel-man. Asse already has started for two years and bench presses more than 300 pounds. Wood-ward said senior Josiah Smith also is an outstanding lineman and will return from injury midway through the season.

Woodward said most of his players will have to play offense and defense.

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