Brent Tinker is in the groove with his 2012 football team. He’s in his second year as head coach and has 16 returning starters, including three players with all-conference honors.
“I learned a lot from my first year,” he said. “I have tried to make some changes to be more efficient which I plan on doing every year.”
The team went 1-8 last year, with its only victory coming against Northwest High School in the last game of the season.
Tinker said the key for success this year lies with improving the offense, especially the offensive line.
“Last year, we never got any kind of an offensive game going because we were ineffective the entire time,” he said. “That’s an area we had to improve."
The team has three senior offensive linemen in Dylan Oxendine, Brad Krafft and Cody Watz. Running back Jimmy Huskey also returns along with receiver Tyler Brewer.
Brewer was the team’s best receiver last year with 321 yards and three touchdowns.
Returning at quarterback is Tyler Thompson. Thompson, a junior, completed 38 for 73 passes in 2011.
On defense, Tinker said the team is much faster and more experienced.
Dominic Saputo, Greg Abeyta and Brewer are all retuning players with all-conference honors on defense. Abeyta and Saputo had 34 and 32 tackles, respectively.
“We’re looking to take a big step forward this year so hopefully the offense can step with it,” Tinker said.
While the team is looking for more wins, the coach said the main goal is building relationships with the athletes.
“The better we know these kids, the more involved we are with the kids, the better we’re going to know how to coach them and help them when they struggle, both on and off the field.”