CHARLOTTE – Creek Wood football coach Houston Thiel said he believes this Creek Wood team has the potential to go further in the playoffs than last season’s 7-4 team that lost in the first round.
“We’re excited about the group of guys we have coming back,” Thiel said. “When we first got here a few years ago we started a large group of sophomores that are now seniors so we’re really excited about the amount of experience that that group brings to the table.”
The 2018 Red Hawk team had quite a bit of talent that has now moved on and the most glaring need in Thiel’s eyes is the offensive line, especially early in the season.
“We lost three guys off our offensive line,” Thiel said. “Aaron Stewart, Laken Hayes, and Danner Dolinich were starters for us two years here, so there are some things we’re going to have to work on up front, but so far I really like how we’ve attacked the offseason.”
The Red Hawks 2018 season really started off on the wrong foot as projected starting quarterback Tim Randolph went down with an injury in the preseason and then backup quarterback Elijah Donaldson got hurt in the first game.
Mitch Duke then stepped in and helped lead the triple option offense to a 7-4 record, but Thiel said he hopes to get the ball in the air a little more this season with a healthy quarterback and receiving group.
“Those injuries did kind of hold our offense down even though Mitch (Duke) isn’t your normal third string quarterback,” Thiel said. “He did a good job of running that offense, but we’re excited how the offense will open up a little bit this year; we like how Elijah (Donaldson) can throw the ball around and we’ve had guys like Andre Darden and James Daugherty work hard this offseason in the weight room so we’re excited to see what they can do on the outside. Now, we’re still going to be a flexbone offense and run the triple option, but we do plan on throwing the ball around a little more.”
After a successful season Thiel has set a few goals for this team.
“We always talk about goals before the season,” Thiel said. “All teams have to set some goals to strive for and since we’ve been here these guys came here and started helping me coach one of our main goals has been to win game one. Not just because it’s Dickson County, but because it is the first game of the season. You can’t help but look forward to that first game since you’ve been working towards it all offseason and you want to get out there on that first Friday night.
“We also want to host a playoff game. That will be a huge advantage for us and help us achieve our other goal of winning some games in the playoffs. That is something that this team is capable of and I believe if we do what we need to do we can go out there and do it.”
Aug. 23 vs. Dickson County, 7:30 p.m.