Progress Sports Writer
CATOOSA — For the first time in four years, there is some continuity in the Catoosa football program.
The Indians have the same coach for the second straight season.
However, one thing is different.
Greg Whiteley has had a little more time to prepare for the Indians’ season than he did in 2005.
He arrived just in time for the players’ summer off-season work.
“It wasn’t the ideal time to come in, not getting to meet the kids right away,” he said. “But at least we had the summer.
“Truly, it just isn’t fair to the kids when circumstances create so much change in such a short period of time,” he said. “But I think they are seeing the ‘Whiteley way’ now.”
In his first season at the Catoosa helm, the Indians posted a 2-8 record.
Eight starters are returning on defense, and the offense boasts considerable experience.
“This will be a fun year, and we want to see who will step up and take charge on the field,” Whiteley said.
He will put a new face at the quarterback spot.
Doug Quinn will move from split end to calling signals.
“We have made some changes and adjustments that we felt necessary,” Whiteley said. “One major change is Doug Quinn.”
At 5-10 and 170 and a player Whiteley calls “a playmaker,” Quinn led the Indians in receptions and touchdown passes (seven) last year.
He is not moving to a new position. He played quarterback four seasons before shifting to receiver last year.
Quinn will be joined in the backfield by the experienced Nick Bergeron (6-0, 205) at fullback.
Bergeron is quick and aggressive, a threat to break long runs at any time.
Lining up at running back will be either Dee Capehart (5-9, 185) or Justin Duvall (5-8, 155).
They will be running behind a line that features Blake Young (6-1, 245) and Logan Robison (6-2, 265).
Defensively, the Indians expect to be improved, simply because of numbers.
Bergeron will be a force at defensive end. As a junior, he registered 70 tackles and eight sacks. His stablemate, Bobby McDonald (6-0, 190), had 50 tackles.
The secondary will be anchored by the capable hands of Quinn and Duvall.
The Indians won their opener last season, but then dropped seven straight.
Moving up into playoff berth contention will depend on controlling the football on offense and playing aggressively on defense.
Those aspects of the game don’t change.
Not even at Catoosa. And that’s where Whiteley is settling in for a while.