Wilmington High School’s third year head coach Scott Killen expects a season full of ups and downs for his young Hurricane squad.
He’s banking on there being more ups than downs.
“The season is going to be a roller-coaster ride as we develop the young players,” Killen said. “We talk about the highs and lows of the game all the time and how they need to take one play at a time and never get too high and never get too low. Getting off to a good start to the season is crucial because we would much rather ride the good momentum than the bad.”
Wilmington welcomes Little Miami to Alumni Field Friday night for a 7 p.m. kickoff.
The Panthers were 2-8 a season ago. WHS and LM were formerly both members of the Fort Ancient Valley Conference as well as the Southwest Ohio Conference. Little Miami is currently in the SWOC.
“Offensively, Little Miami is going to the spread offense and have some very nice athletes to run it,” said Killen. “Their QB (Dylan Carpenter) is very impressive because he manages their offense and the game very well. They are a completely different team than we have seen in the past.
“Defensively, they run a 4-4 and have very good defensive line that do a nice job of getting off the ball and attacking.”
Jacob Ungruhe and Josh Davidson, a pair senior linemen, are leaders of the Panthers this season.
Wilmington, 7-3 last season, defeated Little Miami 48-26 in Morrow in the 2015 opener.
“We are getting closer to where I would like to be,” Killen said of his Hurricane squad. “We are young, so we push them hard every day and so far they have responded to the challenge. There is still a long way to go to get where we need to be but we are getting there.”
Freshman Brady Evans will start at quarterback for the Hurricane, Killen said.
“Brady has performed very well in all our scrimmages against top-notch opponents, but there is a very good chance that Dylan (Beaugard) will also get some snaps at QB in some form,” the coach said. “We are going to find different ways to get Dylan the ball.”
Leading the way to this point in the season for Wilmington has been Porter Pagett, Gage Smith, Preston Kessler, Adam Phelps, Chad Davis and Cameron Pace.
“Are a few names of seniors that stand out that show up every day and will do whatever we ask of them,” Killen said.
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, or on Twitter @wnjsports