THAYER, Mo. — Thayer put together a tremendous campaign in 2015, compiling 10 wins while capturing the Class 1, District 2 championship.
Head Coach: Billy Webber (17th year)
2015 Record: 10-2
Key Players: Jordan Gower (OL/DL), Zyman Langley (QB/DB), Eli Russell (OL/LB), Remington Childers (OL/DL), Danny Gorham (TE/LB), Garrett Young (RB/LB)
Their fingerprints were all over the All-Conference list, featuring 12 players and the co-SCA Coach of the Year in Billy Webber.
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A bruising ground game was a key factor to their success, but now the Bobcats must replace some major production, starting with First-Team All-State selections Brayden Pender and Tucker Hargrove. Pender rushed for 1,083 yards while the pair combined for 27 touchdowns.
"We've got four or five guys that can take snaps and tote the ball," Webber said. "We'll have to have that early on with the heat. The key is going to be those guys up front giving us a little seam to run in."
The Bobcats are still blessed int he trenches, with three of their four all-conference returning being on the offensive line. That includes all-state senior Jordan Gower, who'll be lanked by Remington Childers and Eli Russell.
Junior Garrett Young got the most touches in relief of Pender last year, and will be part of that group worked into the run game.
Ayden Henry's graduation also leaves a gap at quarterback. Zyman Langley is the front-runner to assume those duties while he searches for a repeat performance in the secondary after being named an all-conference honorable mention at defensive back.
Webber believes his group will benefit from being first-hand witnesses to last year's success.
"They were all in the mix of that success last year, so hopefully that spills over into this season."
As usual, the Bobcats' biggest matchups will come when the play up against the likes of Mountain Grove and MV-BT/Liberty. Webber is ready to lead a battle-tested group in defense of their district title.
"It's a challenge every year when we're dressing fewer than they are. As long as you stay healthy, that tough schedule helps you out a the end."
Thayer hosts Hayti to open the season on Aug. 19.