With roster changes, WHS plans offensive switch
WORTHINGTON -- It is never easy for a football team that relies on the pass to see their starting quarterback and wide receiver combination graduate. But that is exactly what happened to the Worthington Trojans when the Lucas Henning and Mitch We...
WORTHINGTON -- It is never easy for a football team that relies on the pass to see their starting quarterback and wide receiver combination graduate. But that is exactly what happened to the Worthington Trojans when the Lucas Henning and Mitch Weg era came to an end after last season.
Replacing a passing combination like Henning and Weg might seem impossible, but Trojan head coach Brad Grimmius already has a plan set in motion that will make the sting of losing such a potent offensive combination much easier.
Grimmius' plan is to change his whole offensive scheme from a spread offense to an offense that relies heavily on the run.
"With the scheme that we had, if a quarterback goes down in a pass-happy offense and your No. 2 or 3 quarterbacks aren't getting the looks then you're a little concerned," Grimmius said. "And in southwest Minnesota, you have the factors of rain and wind come Friday night. And with this offense you don't have to worry about that as much."
With this new system in place, the Trojans' offense will look radically different than it did at the end of last season. Joining the quarterback in the backfield will be a trio of running backs who will all take turns carrying the ball.
"It is easier for a quarterback in this system," Grimmius said. "We can also setup this system all the way down to our youth teams and we can keep stair-stepping that until they get to this level. That is what we are looking forward to."
Even though the first game of the season is just a few weeks away for the Trojans, there are still plenty of questions about who will be taking snaps as well as who will be taking the handoffs.
"I'm looking for a leader who is respected by his teammates and who demands respect," Grimmius said. "I'm not looking for a kid who is going to be out there goofing around. I'm looking for somebody who, when they step on the field, you know what you are getting out of them every play."
Grimmius feels that junior quarterbacks Blake Schroeder and Will Dudley are strong candidates for the starting job. But there are also a pair of sophmores Grimmius thinks could push for playing time if both juniors struggle with the new offense.
"I'm not opposed to starting sophomores," Grimmius said. "We've got a four-way shootout at quarterback and the next few weeks will go a long way to show who is going to be our quarterback on Friday nights."
Even with the four-way competition at quarterback, Grimmius feels confident that the quarterback situation will work itself out before the start of the season.
"Those players separate themselves," Grimmius said. "You'll see the ones that control the offense. In this offense, I don't really need a great passer; I just need someone who can throw the ball 20 yards."
As for the running backs who will be lining up in the backfield, running backs coach Ben Derynck feels that role has also been simplified.
"The running back role has changed to a simpler form," Derynck said. "It will be more simple, but a lot more intense. They'll get a lot more reps than they have in the past. Our running backs are taking the mindset that they're going to be bruisers and that they are going to be work horses."
According to Grimmius, the leading candidates at the running back spots are seniors Tristan Sorenson, Aaron Pavelko, and A.J. Hayenga and juniors Zach Kempema, and Brandon Gray.
The margin of error for players at every position this season will be small. Because of this Grimmius and his coaching staff will be forced to look more closely at every player in order to decide who will be starting come Aug. 31 when the Trojans host Fairmont.
"The way the position battles are going this year, we are looking at the little things," Derynck said. "If we see things constantly not working with one guy, then we'll be looking for the next guy to step up. We are in a unique position where we are looking at 10th graders to step up this year. Everybody has to be a leader this year, including our young guys.
"We are looking for who is going to give us the best effort and who's going to be focused every day doing the same drills. Those are the guys we are looking for."
Daily Globe Reporter Jordan Willi
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