CONVOY – The Crestview football record board is jam-packed with the names of Drew Kline and Wade Sheets.
Among Kline’s records are most rushing yards in a career (4,482) and most passing yards in a career (6,185). He also holds the school records for most passing TDs in a career (67) and most rushing TDs in a career (69).
Sheets holds school records for most receptions in a career (124) and most receiving TDs in a career (25).
Kline was second-team all-state and the offensive player of the year in the NWC. Sheets was special mention all-state and first-team all-NWC at wide receiver and defensive back.
Now the bad news for Knights’ fans: Both Kline and Sheets have finally graduated.
The pair, along with several other standout seniors, helped the Knights to four playoff appearances in their four years.
“We don’t talk about those guys, as far as he could do this or he could do that and why aren’t you doing this or why aren’t you doing that,’’ Crestview coach Jared Owens said. “We’re trying to focus on our kids now and trying to make them better as players and individuals.
“We’re proud of what’s happened in the past, but not satisfied with that by any means. But in the same token, every team and every year has its own identity and its own personality.’’
Last year Crestview finished 11-2 and was the tri-champion of the Northwest Conference at 6-1.
The Knights won two playoff games and reached the regional championship game before falling to Fort Loramie, 48-20.
“We talk to them about they need to carry on and continue to build (the tradition), and that’s going to be a real challenge this year,” Owens said. “We lost a lot of talent and a lot of production, and the group that is playing is very inexperienced. But they’ve been on winning teams, and they understand what it takes to win.’’
On the plus side for the Knights is they return four starters on offense and five on defense.
Crestview will continue to throw the ball and run the option, as well.
“There will be a lot of different ways to run the option,” Owens said. “We want to stretch the field and try to put people in position where they have to make one-on-one plays and put our guys in space. We’re going to do a little bit of everything.’’
Junior power back Brody Brecht (5-11, 215 pounds) will handle the bulk of the carries this year. In 10 games last year, he ran for 735 yards and 12 TDs. He averaged 7.5 yards-per-carry, often carrying defenders through the line.
“Brody is a physical kid, and he’s grown and gotten stronger,” Owens said.
At the end of the regular season, Brecht was second on the team in rushing to Kline’s 961.
Wide receiver/running back Caylib Pruett is back and will catch and run the ball.
Kaden Short is expected to move from wide receiver to quarterback.
Owens said Short “will probably play some quarterback, some receiver and some running back. He’ll be a slash-type player.’’
In the preseason, the plan was to use several quarterbacks, including Short, Brecht and sophomore Jayden Ward. There’s also freshman quarterback Carson Hunter.
Isaiah LaTurner moves from offensive tackle to guard.
Carson Kreischer didn’t start on the offensive line last year, but he saw plenty of action across the line.
Brecht will lead the 4-2-5 defense from his middle linebacker spot, where he was first-team all-NWC.
LaTurner is also back at another linebacker spot. He was second-team all-NWC.
Kreischer returns as a starter on the defensive line.
The secondary will have veterans Pruett and Short.
Owens said a huge key is to stay healthy.
Another is the team’s ability to jell quickly.
“For these guys, it’s a matter of learning the system and being able to apply it to the different looks they’ll get, especially defensively, ” he said. “And we have to learn to play together as a team.’’
Owens, who still owns several passing records of his own at Crestview, knows the tradition at Crestview. The Knights, who brought back football in 1999, have made the playoffs six straight years.
“It’s one of those things we’re pretty proud of, and in the community it’s become maybe an expectation,” Owens said. “At the same time, we don’t take it for granted. It’s still a pretty special accomplishment.’’