Coach: Jason Mensing, first year
Last season: 4-5, 3-4 Tri-County Conference
Returning letter winners: 14
Returning starters: Offense 7, defense 7
Schemes: Double Wing/4-4
Top players: Seniors Gabe LaRoy, 6-0, 175, QB; Brian Tabbert, 5-7, 155, FB; Cody Inman, 6-5, 235, DE; Zach Phalen, 6-1, 260, OL/DL; Austin Morris, 6-1, 230, OL; George Vergote, 5-10, 155, LB. Junior Chris Sims, 6-2, 250, OL.
Outlook: The Bobcats have a new offense but the same playmakers -- and that is fine by their new coach.
Mensing, who arrives after a season as offensive line coach at Siena Heights University, inherits a roster he believes is well suited to run the double wing. The Bobcats' 19-member roster features a veteran offensive line anchored by Phalen; a workhorse FB in Tabbert (577 rushing yards); hybrid run-catch threats Colin Lake and Tyler Lee; and the record-setting arm of LaRoy. The third-year starting quarterback threw for a school-record 1,201 yards and 13 TDs last season.
"The biggest challenge that we have right now is that [the offense] is new for them," Mensing said. "So covering that learning curve while preparing for good opponents is going to be a real challenge for us."
With a playoff-hungry class of 12 seniors, however, a postseason appearance appears a realistic aim.
"We've got a tremendous senior class," Mensing said. "They they seem to have a passion to play the game. ... We're extremely optimistic."
2012 WHITEFORD SCHEDULE
Aug. 30-at Erie Mason
Sep. 7-at Sand Creek
Sep. 21-at Britton-Deerfield
Sep. 28- at Summerfield
Oct. 5-Whitmore Lake
Oct. 12-at Morenci
Oct. 19-Adrian Madison