Stockton lost 10 seniors from last year’s team that garnered at least one all-conference selection. That will leave this year’s Stockton team relying on more two-way players than the past.
“We have a young team on paper, but I feel like they have a lot of varsity experience. They are just now having to do double time on both sides of the ball,” Stockton head coach Shad Edwards said.
Will Price will shoulder a lot of the load as a leader up front on both offense and defense. He was a unanimous first-team all-conference selection on the offensive line and a second-team all-conference selection on defense.
“We expect a lot of good things out of him. The difference is that he is going to be in that senior leadership role. We are going to have to lean on him more than anybody else and expect him to bring everyone up to his level,” Edwards said.
Jake Wheeler will return at quarterback after starting last season.
“Last year he really got into the flow of things and you saw him feel a lot better. This year through the summer he has been confident. He is just relaxed out there,” Edwards said. “He is being that senior that we need him to be.”
Seniors August Foster and Kendall Roberts will be the key running backs for the Tigers this season.
Bo Walker is back at middle linebacker after starting there last season. Dalton Brandell and Trenton Rains will join Roberts and Walker to round out a solid linebacking corps.
Bradley Burns will see more time on defense this season on the line. Another newcomer is Drew Wheeler. He is a sophomore that started on the varsity basketball and baseball teams as a freshman. The sophomore will jump right into a starting role in the secondary.
Stockton will be looking to break into the upper crust of the Mid-Lakes this season after three consecutive seasons finishing with a 3-3 record in conference.
“Every year our conference is good. It is tough conference,” Edwards said. “Our kids know in our conference you have to come play every week. Every day this summer they talk about it; they think about it; they know about it.”
Stockton opens the season on Aug. 18 at El Dorado Springs in the annual Cedar Bowl.