ROGERSVILLE, Mo. — Logan-Rogersville has yet to put together a winning season since capturing a state championship in 2011.
Head Coach: Doug Smith
2015 Record: 3-7
Key players: Jaytin Gutierrez (RB/LB), Cole Vandersnick (WR/DB), Bronson Tavenner (QB/FS), Lucas Campbell (WR/DB), Chesley McDonald (OL/LB)
That team had a pair of freak athletes, in Doug Smith's words, but a dip in numbers has contributed to the Wildcats' struggles.
"We're about 12-14 per class and back then we had 20-25 per class," he said. "Football is a game of numbers and that gives you competition. We feel like we've got a good junior class, and if they continue to work, we can be in a position to be in the upper tier."
After losing just five seniors, Rogersville has the benefit of a strong group of juniors that took their lumps last year. Smith believes they'll be better for it and expects to see it play out on Fridays.
"A lot of these kids were sophomores last year, got bigger and matured, and we're looking forward to seeing what this group can do."
Bronson Tavenner is back under center after throwing for 1,223 yards and eight touchdowns as a sophomore. He's not afraid to tote the rock either, as he did 64 times last year.
"His body is different and he's another year smarter. We expect big things out of him. He's still a young kid and will have some things to work out, but he'd doing a great job thus far."
Jaytin Gutierrez is a returning All-SWMFCA linebacker who will also be key in the run game. He led the Wildcats with 132 tackles and 277 rushings yards. Both he and Tavenner will benefit from the entire offensive line.
No. 1 receiver Bailey Rettman is at Evangel now and senior Cole Vandersnick will try to fill that void. The 6'2" wideout caught 14 passes for 157 yards last year and is expected to increase those marks.
Smith said he's emphasizing toughness before Week 1 and wants to break camp with a group ready to attack.
"You've got to be physical when you play in our conference. Hopefully we'll be better tacklers, able to run to the football, and getting off blocks."
Rogersville travels to Springfield Central to open the season on Aug. 19.