In his fifth season as the Wilmington High School football coach, Scott Killen says those who watch the Hurricane in 2018 will see a different team from years past.
On offense, Killen said, “It’s going to look different. You’re going to see a little bit different style because of where we are personnel-wise.”
As for the defense, the head coach proclaimed, “You will see a completely different approach from where we were last year.”
Killen is taking over the defense at WHS. He was the highly-successful defensive coordinator at Clinton-Massie before coming to Alumni Field to be the head coach.
“We scaled it down, simplified everything so the kids can play faster and more aggressive,” he said. “I love where we’re at defensively, how we’re playing.”
Wilmington was 6-4 last season and finished fourth in the SBAAC American Division behind a trio of 4-1 teams.
Killen’s coaching staff includes Josh Wulff, Jeremy Andrews, Gary Massie, JD McIntosh, Joe Gigandet, Jody Drake and Ryan Stuckey.
The Hurricane returns 21 letterwinners from last year, including 15 starters. The top returning starters are led by quarterback Brady Evans, who threw for 999 yards and nine touchdowns in six games before being injured.
Other top returning players are Mason McIntosh, Austin Brummett, Cam Coomer, Craig Schiff, Alex Flanigan, Grant Mayer, Logan Frazier and Justus Farris.
Among the losses are do-everything Dylan Beaugard, top offensive lineman Conner Barton, Derek Davis, Kyler Reed, Brett Bell and DJ Ames, who transferred to Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy. Ames, Barton and Reed were first team All-SBAAC selections. Davis was a second team all-league player last season.
Killen said there are approximately 60 players in the high school program. And while Killen “wants to win more than anybody” he understands to build a true program players, coaches and fans must embrace the process before the results.
“People want everything right now, but they don’t want to go through the process of how to get there,” he said. “It’s the instant gratification of our society today.”
Killen said the senior and junior classes have stepped up as leaders for the players in the program.
“They have been great in terms of setting the standard of how we practice, but it’s not just about football,” said Killen. “It’s in the hallways at school, it’s in the community. It’s putting what we talk about into every day life. It’s about working toward being the best person possible, doing all the little things, which will improve our school, our community, everything.”
Killen admits the Hurricane will be “really green” in certain spots but overall he’s been happy with his squad.
“Our practices have been sharper,” he said. “Our practices have been more intense. I can promise you we are going to play really, really hard.”