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Hancock

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August 31, 2007

Q&A with coach John Blake

Q: How would you describe the state of your program?

A: "I don't want to sound too confident because I want to make sure we have our same work ethic, but we are optimistic. We took our lumps last year, but we had a great offseason and hopes are high."

Q: How would you sum up the 2006 season?

A: "We were like a JV team with a couple of seniors last year. We had ninth and 10th graders across the front and took our lumps because of it. This year we have a much more veteran team."

Q: Who are your top returning skill position players?

A: Jon Clark, QB - "He brings leadership. He has ice water in his veins. He's a passing threat, but he can run, too. He's an athletic kid."

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Matt McCoy, RB/SE - "He's a speedster and a perimeter weapon. We want to get him down the field."

B.J. Weller, WR - "He'll go get the ball wherever it's at. He's our go-to guy on long-distance downs."

Q: Who are the top returning players at these positions?

Offensive line:

A: Dan Mauk, G; Nick Harvey, G; Ken Hardman, T - "Last year, we just kept working to get better. It wasn't about wins and losses, it was about improving, and this is the payoff. We're going to establish the fullback immediately."

Defensive line:

A: Devin McCusker, DT - "He's quick for a big kid. That's his big plus."

Mauk, DE - "He's the pressure guy coming from the outside. He's going to be tough to block. He's going to be a stud."

Linebacker:

A: Joey True and Jamie Sornson, ILB - "Both are strong kids with good speed."

Secondary:

A: Clark, CB - "He was third on the team in tackles (last year) and is a good run stopper and pass defender."

Josh Unger, S - "He's a big-play guy and our return guy."

Q: Who is the one departed player who will be the most difficult to replace?

A: Kaleb Trail, LB - "He led the team in tackles and was the leader of the defense."

Q: Who are the "unknown" or new players who could make an impact in 2007?

A: "Unger. He had three interceptions, five touchdowns and two fumble recoveries in the first two games before breaking his collarbone in a car accident last year."

Q: What is the biggest challenge your team will face this season?

A: "Getting that first win. We're 0 for our last 14. We've gone winless before, but once we get that first one it will be contagious."

Q: What things must this team do to improve over the 2006 season?

A: "We have to improve every phase of our game, and have to work hard to do it. The offensive line is the key, and that's where we look real good."

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