Dupo football to take things one game at a time
To say the Dupo High School football program lost a lot of starters from last year’s varsity squad would be a bit of an understatement.
The Tigers lost their entire starting backfield from last season, including starting quarterback Brett Aldridge.
Dupo will be returning three senior starters to its offense — Cameron Comte and Matt Mueller on the offensive line and wide receiver-turned-quarterback for this season, Jake Williams.
On defense, the Tigers will have just two returning players in outside linebacker Alex Ball and defensive end Lucas Gibson, both seniors.
The Tigers finished last season a disappointing 4-5 after making the playoffs the year before. They are looking to get back there this season.The 2014 Dupo High School football team is, front row, from left, Drew Kelling, Zane Chism, Chase Putnam, Jordan Cataldo, Dawson Kemp, Collin Roth, Chandler Comte and Brent Imhoff; second row: Makala Burch, Nick Meagher, AJ Jones, Jake Williams, Brandon Roth, Josh Jordan, Tyler Roeder, Matt Mueller, Dalton Ticer and Kirstyn Ball; third row: Sam Concialdi, MacKay Hamm, Taylor Stanek, Donovan Pipkens, Billy Duty, Tommy Nichols, Josh Magnuson, Dakota Gill, Robert Seager-Crippen and Charli Kueper; fourth row: Kyle Kukorola, Austin Francis, Dalton Bridges, Khoury LaChance, Kenny Spisak, Alex Ball, Victor Licklider, Cameron Comte and Jason Smith, Savannah Maldonado; fifth row: Ashley Sottoriva, Drake Harvell, Adam Nichols, Hunter Kelling, John Stoffel, Dylan Wetzel, Alex Potts, Kodee Keys, Mike Chartrand, Lucas Gibson and Kayla Yancy; and back row: Coach Carpenter, Coach Hearty, Coach LeMond, Coach Weier, Coach Acra and Coach Keys. (Kermit Constantine photo)
The Tigers will again have a lot of seniors on the team this year, but not a lot of game experience.
New Dupo head coach Brad Weier was an assistant last season for Tim Nelson, who resigned in the middle of last season after being diagnosed with colorectal cancer last October.
Weier has liked what he has seen so far from his squad in practice.
“We are getting better everyday,” he said. “Jake is picking up the offense well and the kids are coachable and really working hard. We don’t have a lot of depth and are the smallest school, but I feel we can compete with any team in this conference.”
Some of the players Weier is hoping can make a big impact on this season are seniors Mike Chartrand (running back/linebacker) and Kodee Keys (shortstop/wide receiver).
Others expected to contribute are seniors Billy Duty, Adam Nichols, Tommy Nichols, Matt Perez, Donovan Pickens and Jacob Smith.
“I’m going to expect a lot out of this team. I think we will be competitive in all nine games,” the coach said. “I’m very proud of the work the seniors have put in and I’m excited to see what they can do.”
Weier said his team will not look ahead to any one game on the schedule this season.
“We take it one day at a time, one game at a time,” he said. “We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. Our main goal going into this season is to get back to the playoffs.”
The Tigers will open their season on the road Friday at Sparta. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
A key local match-up is a home game against rival Columbia on Sept. 12.