Sullivan High School’s football program is coming off a co-Western Indiana Conference championship last season — shared with West Vigo — and has several returning players for 2013.
But Sullivan coach Trent Olson preferred to talk about the balance of the WIC rather than his team’s chances of grabbing another title.
“I think it might be as even as it’s been in a while,” he stressed. “But if we’re considered the favorite [by other WIC coaches], that’s better than being picked for dead last.”
For sure, nobody is expecting the Golden Arrows to finish “dead last.” Not even with a 2012 starting wide receiver lining up at quarterback in the form of 6-foot-2, 180-pound senior Mike Willis.
“He’s very athletic,” Olson pointed out. “He’ll be a dual threat for us. And it’s not like this is the first time he’s ever played quarterback. He used to be a quarterback when he was younger.”
Ready to handle the load at running back is senior standout Brooks Weszely (5-11, 175), the team’s leading rusher last season.
Also back in the lineup are seniors Jake Kinnaman (6-4, 230) at tight end and Michael Hutchcraft (6-5, 195) at wide receiver. Joining that crew at another wide receiver will be senior Kynon Johnson (5-9, 170).
Olson has four offensive linemen who have started in the past — junior tackles Franke Risley (6-4, 275) and Hunter McCoy (6-2, 215) and sophomore guard Sheridan Sater (6-2, 230) from last season and senior guard Jon Sullivan (5-11, 165) from two seasons ago (he missed last season with a leg injury). A new starter penciled in is sophomore Colton Harrison (6-3, 245) at center.
“A lot of those [offensive] guys have started since their sophomore years and earlier,” Olson mentioned. “We definitely look to put up some points.”
The Arrows’ seventh-year coach noted that Johnson will continue to serve as the squad’s placekicker and punter.
On the defensive side of the ball, Sullivan’s trenches are manned by McCoy and junior Matt Siner (6-0, 225) at ends and Harrison and Kinnaman at tackles. McCoy and Harrison started regularly before and Siner started late last season.
Jon Sullivan and Sater are listed as new starters at inside linebackers, while Weszely (who started some last season) and Hutchcraft (a returning starter) will remain on the outside. Olson added that junior Cameron Marx (5-8, 160) will fill in plenty at these positions.
Willis will try to find time to start at cornerback again, while 5-11, 165-pound senior Dan Middleton will debut as a starter at the other corner. Olson said Johnson is the incumbent starter at free safety, with senior Trey Hunt (6-2, 160) likely to be the most frequently used substitute in the secondary.
“We’re going to need Sater, Sullivan and Marx to step up for us,” Olson emphasized.
Sullivan, which finished 6-4 overall in 2012, will kick off its 2013 campaign Friday at home against Vincennes Lincoln.
Friday — Vincennes Lincoln, 7 p.m.
Aug. 30 — At Linton, 7 p.m.
Sept. 6 — North Knox, 7 p.m.
Sept. 14 — vs. Northview* in Lucas Oil Stadium, 10 a.m.
Sept. 20 — Edgewood*, 7 p.m.
Sept. 27 — At Owen Valley*, 7 p.m.
Oct. 4 — At Brown County*, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 11 — At South Vermillion*, 7 p.m.
Oct. 18 — West Vigo*, 7 p.m.
* — Western Indiana Conference games