Gridiron Preview: Knox County hopes experience leads to District - Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Gridiron Preview: Knox County hopes experience leads to District Title

Head coach Alex Van Delft works with his squad during Saturday afternoon's practice at Knox County High School. Head coach Alex Van Delft works with his squad during Saturday afternoon's practice at Knox County High School.

EDINA, Mo. (WGEM) -- Every season there are always a handful of teams that for one reason or another, seem to fly under the radar.

In 2012 one of those squads was Knox County, who quietly finished with a (7-4) record, and racked up some huge offensive numbers, amounting to 33 points per game.

For head coach Alex Van Delft, who enters his fourth season, the majority of that production returns to the line-up, although a major piece is gone.

Kellen Gillaspy, who accounted for a huge chunk of the rushing attack, and several other facets will have to be replaced, but the Eagles should have more than enough balance to stay on the rise.

"Kellen was an awesome player for us," Van Delft told WGEM Sports.

"Offense, defense, he was our punter, he kicked, he did about everything for us. It's going to take about three players to fill his shoes."

"Brody Moubry played fullback last year, we're moving him to wing and we're looking for him to have a big year. With Donovan Edwards at quarterback and Royce Poore at receiver we're going to look to pass a little bit more, so with those three we're hoping to hide some of the hide some of the skill we're missing from Kellen this year. "

Edwards and Poore will be the focus of the Knox County offense, as they'll try to improve on the 300- plus yards per game they helped to rack up in their junior campaign.

There won't be a lack of motivation to continue moving forward.

The goal of a district championship is at the forefront, and a loss to Westran prior to that game in 2012 has been a driving force in the off season.

"Last year we fell short to Westran in the game before the district championship," Edwards expressed.

"I feel like we have something to prove this year. We have that sitting on our chest that we lost that game, and we played pretty good but hopefully we can come back and make the championship game."

"I want to not only be a vocal leader, but also a physical leader," Poore added.

"I want to be the guy everyone looks to, to do something. Knowing that I have to be a part of the team, and do all of that stuff to make our team better, it's more pressure, but it's a good thing."

At this point the major concern would be depth for Knox County.

While a majority of the starters return, numbers across the board aren't huge, and staying healthy could be the key down the stretch and heading into the post season.

However, on paper this looks like a team that should challenge for a Tri-Rivers Conference title, and quite possibly a district championship.
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