Expect quite a few new faces in Hudson's lineup with the departure of 19 seniors.
By IZZY GOULD
Published May 19, 2006
HUDSON - Mark Nash can't spit out his roster the way he could last season.
Vince Ferlita is gone. So is Kyle Hatcher. Robert Allen, Ryan Attaway, Roger Hill?
Gone, gone, gone.
Nash has a quarterback battle on his hands. He'll tell you his No. 2 can't practice, and not because of injury or a rules violation. Zack Wynn is in eighth grade. He's one more reminder of what the Cobras lost - he's Allen Wynn's younger brother - and an example of Hudson's inexperience.
Personnel losses were heavy after the best season in Hudson history. The Cobras went 10-3, won a district title, reached the playoffs for the first time in 26 seasons and won playoff games for the first time.
Nash said goodbye to 19 seniors. Even worse, of the 50 kids out for football this spring, only eight have varsity experience.
The first day of spring practice was telling.
"I was calling roll, and I had no idea who this kid was or who that kid was," Nash said. "There's three of us now walking the hallways (at Hudson), so that's helped. We've been able to draw a lot of kids out for football."
Nash has his depth chart scribbled on a large board in the coach's office.
Few of the names jog the memory.
Jake McFadden got solid minutes on varsity in 2005. Now he's the No. 1 running back and outside linebacker.
Travis Tindell had 87 tackles and returns at defensive tackle. Lance Moore was a starting guard. Dylan Jordan got minutes at receiver.
Those guys and a few more make up the bulk of Hudson's varsity experience, prompting Nash to lend some context to his 2006 roster.
"The key to next year is keeping the season in perspective," Nash said. "We have to make sure progress isn't always defined by win-loss record."
Expectations aren't as low as some might think.
Nash has confidence that David Rotteveel can fill Hatcher's role as the starting quarterback. True, Zack Wynn can't practice until the fall. He still attends practices, lifts weights and works with a handful of promising eighth-graders on his own.
"They try to emulate what we're doing," Nash said. "It's pretty cool. If nothing else, it shows their interest. I don't think there's been that kind of interest in a long time."
The starting lineup isn't likely to come into focus until August, but talk in the locker room is upbeat.
Most of the guys weren't part of last year's postseason run and weren't there for the emotional 42-0 loss to Citra North Marion in a Class 3A region final.
That makes it a bit easier to ignore last season's march through the playoffs.
Even the more experienced players are trying to stay level headed about the impending fall.
"It's more a feeling of the unknown," junior Lance Moore said. "We have potential. There's just a lot of uncertainty. It's a different feeling than last year."