2020 Prep Football Preview: Adams Central
Patriots looking to retool in 2020
HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - Adams Central had a season to remember on the gridiron in 2019.
The Patriots finished with a record of 11-1, with their only loss coming in the Class C-1 State Semifinals. A big part of their success came from a loaded senior class.
Starting with quarterback Evan Johnson and running back Gabe Conant. The two rewrote the record books at Adams Central by the time their careers had come to an end.
The Patriots leading receiver a year ago, Leif Spady, was also a senior and joined Johnson and Conant on the All-State team. Those guys are just three of the 13 starters that graduated.
Even with those departures, the Patriots are confident that they have built a winning culture and will continue to compete at a high level.
“We have a lot of pride. We’ve had a lot of good years in the past so we want to keep it going, keep it rolling, and show them what we got this year,” Senior Tyler Slechta said.
“The expectations are always high as far as performing well on Friday night. We lost a lot of talented seniors but the cupboard is not bare,” Head Coach Shawn Mulligan said. “We still have a lot of guys that are pretty good football players and we hope to show that this year.”
Adams Central has just three returners coming back on the offensive side of the ball, Slechta being the only skill player that started for the Pats a year ago. However they believe in the guys they have stepping in to their new roles.
“You can’t always go by returning starters. Because again we were very talented last year so we had backups that were also very talented,” Mulligan said.
Mulligan praised both Cam Foster and Jacob Eckhardt for what they have been able to do under center so far. He also is very excited about his depth at running back, which he thinks could be the strength of the team.
“We’re still going to be multi-dimensional. Even though we were what most people would say a pass happy offense the last few years, we always wanted to run the ball first,” Mulligan said.
On the defensive side of the ball they return six starters from a year ago, including their leading tackler in linebacker Slade Smith - who racked up 121 tackles.
A year ago Mulligan described his team as the shiny new car. What about this year?
“More of like a construction truck to be honest with you. We have an athletic team, but I think just more of a hard nosed type of team,” Mulligan said. “Maybe beat up, a little rough around the edges, but still gets the jobs done.
Adams Central is scheduled to open their season at home against Holdrege on August 28.
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