WILDE LAKE WILDECATS
3A East Region
Coach: Doug DuVall (32nd season, 269-62).
Last year: 6-3 overall, 6-3 league.
Last postseason appearance/state title: 2002/1997.
Returning starters on offense/defense: 5/6.
Players to watch: QB Nate Andorsky, Sr.; RB/DB Zach Brown, Jr.; FB/LB Orain Findley, Jr.; RB/DE Jarad Flagg, Sr.; TE/DT D.J. Holmes, Jr.; WR Eddie Thomas, Sr.
Run with it: The power of Flagg (663 yards, nine touchdowns) and the speed of Brown, the reigning county champion in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, should keep defenses off-balance. Andorsky, a first-year starter at quarterback, played safety last year, so his speed makes him a threat.
Ballcarriers beware: The defense appears to have learned a lesson from last year's squad, which squandered two fourth-quarter leads and lost a spot in the playoffs. DuVall likes the aggressiveness of this unit, especially that of junior nose guard Alanzo Williams and Findley.
What DuVall first looks for in a player: "Heart. How bad does he want to play? If you have kids that play hard, you win. Good heart, good attitude -- you can do a lot when you have a team that has a bunch of kids like that. Size is nice, but if he doesn't have the heart, it doesn't matter."