Zionsville — The Zionsville football team is looking to bounce back from a 5-5 campaign in 2011.
So far, head coach Larry McWhorter likes what he sees.
“We came in in condition and ready for the weather, which are encouraging things,” he said. “Therefore we were able to practice pretty good last week. No one had to pull up a little early because they weren’t in shape, which is always good. We are ready to go.”
The expectations were simple for the Eagles this year according to McWhorter — play hard every game.
“That is the goal we set for ourselves before every season as a coaching staff, he said. “The kids are responding to that and we will give it everything we have every week.”
On offense, the Eagles return more than half of their lineup from 2011, including quarterback/ wide receiver combo Parker Dunshee and John Naumcheff.
Dunshee was 119-of-214 last year for 1,333 yards and 16 touchdowns. Eleven of those went to Naumcheff, who caught 61 balls for 859 yards.
“Parker is doing a really nice job in practice of finding other receivers,” McWhorter said. “It is not just ‘the John show.’ He is spreading the ball around and reading well, which is the mark of a good quarterback.”
McWhorter said they also have key returnees in tight end Carson Kennedy (13 catches, 127 yards), fullback Steven Wisnewski (43 rushes, 145 yards) and linemen Eric Wietholter and Zane Breisch.
There isn’t as much experience on the other side of the ball.
McWhorter said he will look to linebacker Scott Penola (47 tackles, one sack) and defensive back Jackson Schafer (35 tackles, one interception) to lead the young group.
“We have a lot of new guys,” McWhorter said. “But they are coming along.”
McWhorter said that he thinks the strength of the Eagles this season will be the team’s agility, saying they like to hit and they move well. So far, he also likes the team’s cohesiveness.
For more of this story, read Wednesday's Lebanon Reporter.