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Wildcat Football: Defense; Offensive Linemen

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Defensive Coordinator Alex Guerra on Expectations for Wildcats Defense This Season

Earlier this week, new Wildcats Defensive Coordinator Alex Guerra discussed his expectations for the Wildcats defense this season. He said thy will need to play fast and play with a lot of heart and emotion. Coach Guerra said he wants a very chaotic defense but also one that plays under control. He said he wants guys who go at it with passion and emotion but then turn it off when the whistle blows to focus and get ready for the next play. Coach Guerra said the bottom line is that players are going to have to give second and third effort. He said other teams will probably be bigger than the Wildcats but he added the Wildcats must play faster and quicker. Coach Guerra said his players might be smaller but they must be strong. He said that’s where off season programs are so important. Coach Guerra said he knows he will be sharing lots of players with the offense. He said it is important for his defense to be two and three deep at positions. Coach Guerra said it is on coaches to make sure they don’t send a tired kid out on the field.

Jeremy Offutt on His Offensive Linemen

This is the last in a series on Wildcats coaches and their players. Today (August 23) we feature Offensive Line Coach Jeremy Offutt and his Wildcats varsity offensive linemen. Coach Offutt is in his seventh year coaching Wildcats varsity offensive linemen. Coach Offutt has lost over 40 pounds in recent months. He is a former North Lamar offensive linemen who played in college at Oklahoma State. Coach Offutt also was briefly with the Detroit Lions. He coached at Northwest Louisiana before coming to Sulphur Springs. Concerning this year’s offensive line, Coach Offutt said his current group has a lot of experience in some players but inexperience in others. He said he has got some size, four 300 pounders, and some good athletes. Coach Offutt said they are working hard to improve. Out of nine offensive linemen, six are seniors. They are Ethan Rodgers, Hayden Daniels, Jakeb Jonaitis, Charlie Maddox, Hunter Salverino and Phillip Rater. His juniors are Giovanni Pizano, Chandler Leo and Ryan Hammonds. Rodgers, at 6-3 and 300 pounds is in his third year on the varsity. He was all-district at guard last year. Rodgers has also played tackle. He’s the team’s starting center this year. Coach Offutt calls 6-foot-4 320 pound Daniels a Swiss army knife kind of guy since he can play all five positions along the line. Coach Offutt said 6-3 330 pound Jakeb Jonaitis is one of his most physical linemen. The second year varsity player had to overcome a very serious hand injury that threatened his playing career. 6-2 240 pound right tackle Maddox is also back after a serious injury right before the start of last seasont hat threatened his football career. Coach Offutt said watching film of Maddox this year, it appeared he was never out. 5-10 220 pound left guard Salverino is a converted center. Coach Offut said 6-3 230 pound Phillip Rater played on the JV last year and is improving all the time. Pizano is a 5-10 250 pound left guard. Leo at 6-foot and 240 pounds is athletic and can play several positions according to Coach Offutt. He said 6-3 310 pound Hammonds is physical and has played his way onto the varsity after being on the JV last season. Coach Offutt said offensive lines are almost always close knit. They thrive as a group since they don’t generate stats or get individual acclaim. Coach Offutt said they are a tighter brotherhood than any other position group on the team.

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Author: Staff Reporter

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