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Woodhaven heads into new season with strong core of returning players PHOTOS

  • Action photos by Frank Wladyslawski

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Last season, a young Woodhaven team lost its first three games, but then turned things around and won four of the last five down the stretch.

Since then, only six seniors have graduated and when the Warriors take the field this year there will be quite a few familiar faces.

“We started 0-3 and ended up 4-5 so we felt better at the end of year,” Christnagel said. “A lot of kids saw playing time, so we’re hoping that plays a factor (this season).”

Leading the Warriors’ option-style offense will be senior quarterback Niko France (5-foot-7, 200 pounds) who last year ran for a team-high 783 yards and nine touchdowns and threw for 360 yards and two scores.

At fullback will be senior Jake Przybylo (6-2, 205), who ran for 681 yards and seven touchdowns in 2013, while seniors Lafranz Hemphill (5-9, 180) and junior Darious Nundley (5-7, 150) will be in the backfield, as well.

A pair of seniors will serve as receivers in the Woodhaven offense, as Dalton Gadwell (5-10, 180) and Trent Bauer (senior 6-2, 180) will be running routes in 2014.

Blocking up front will be senior Eric Dearth (6-2, 240) at center, senior and three-year starter Ian Miller (6-2, 260) at right guard and junior Abdul Khan (6-1, 250) at left guard. At the tackle spots will be senior Alex Claringbold (6-2, 215) and sophomore Jacob Downe (6-1, 215).

Miller will also be on the defensive line this year, along senior returner Brent Graham (5-8, 200), while seniors Thaddeus Abrahms (6-4, 200) and Evan Williams (5-111, 200) will play defensive end.

Przybylo is set to be at the middle linebacker spot and the outside linebackers will be seniors Nick Towianski (6-1, 190) and sophomore Jalen Wellons (5-11, 175). In 2013, Przybylo led the team with 66 tackles, had a team-high three interceptions and caused a fumble.

The secondary will feature three seniors, as Hemphill will be a safety and Rasheed Patterson (5-8, 185) and Rashad Johnson (5-11, 155) will play corner. Also in the defensive backfield will be junior safety Niko Richard (6-0, 170).

As for special teams, Towianski will handle the punting duties, while Christnagel said he was still deciding on a kicker and a kick returner.

The Warriors will kick off the 2014 campaign on Aug. 28 with a home game against Truman.

Last Updated: 8/26/2014 7:32:02 PM EST