Take a look at what Coach Rick Vernon had to say about Waynesville's approach to Friday's game.
Question: How has practice gone this week?
Answer: A good week at practice. Like we talked to the players, a brand new season is coming Friday and everybody in the state of Missouri is 0-0. Our records don't really mean anything and so you've got to get started and ready to go in this ballgame.
Q: Wednesday's practice was enthusiastic. Is that something that was planned?
A: Yeah, and you try to do different things throughout the week. You know, you don't want to get the kids too excited early in the week, then they can slack off. They know it's a new week; they know we've got a very big game coming in with Rolla and the kids were ready to go on Wednesday.
Q: Can you compare your team now to the team that beat Rolla earlier in the season?
A: No because we've had, as you well know, so many injuries and so many players in-and-out because of injuries. We've had quite a few that will not be able to get back with us this year because of the injuries. And we've replaced a lot of new people since we played Rolla before so, you know, you really just look at a couple previous games they've played. Look and see where we're at now, and then you go from there.
Q: What were some of the things Rolla did earlier in the year your team will try and combat Friday?
A: They had a couple big passes. They have a very good receiver and a quarterback to give the ball to him and they did some very good things back then, and they have done those throughout the year. Those are some things you need to look at. We think, you know, with more experience we've had – our secondary is better now, too – hopefully we've done some things to combat that.
Q: I noticed Dylan Newcomb getting multiple repetitions with the first team offense. Is going to be the starter this week?
A: Yeah. We thought he would be back this week and we had him in starting Monday without any contact going on. And then, little by little, as we got some more reports back from his doctor, we did finally get the clearance that he would be ready to go. Then we just started doing some other, more physical activities with him and, you know, he's got the clearance. He's ready to go. That's one player back we haven't had for awhile so that always helps.
Q: What sort of an impact will Newcomb bring back to the team?
A: I think he has three years of leadership. He's been in the playoffs those years. He knows now the importance of each ballgame. And so, even though he doesn't say a whole lot, just his reaction and people respond to that. It's always good to get back those experienced ball players.
Q: Will he see a lot of time at the quarterback position?
A: Again, you have to go play-by-play in a ballgame, whether it be offensive lineman, defensive lineman, quarterback, receivers, whatever. We've just got our players all ready to play and be ready to go.
Q: So everybody will be ready to go at quarterback?
A: Right. At all positions we have different people that we move around some and they get reps at all different positions so that they can step in, whether it's a certain play or in a certain situation.
Q: What's your team going to do this time around to make sure you can defeat Rolla again?
A: Just be consistent. Turnovers have been a very big factor in some of our ballgames. We talk about it; we practice it; we work on it and, you know, any ballgame when it's going to be a close ballgame, turnovers – field position – is going to be very important.
Q: Rolla has a tough option-type offense with the veer look. Is that something you've been working in practice?
A: Yeah. We know what they run; they're very good at it and we practice it and our defensive coaches have done a great job of getting our players ready for the veer. They have a very good quarterback who runs it very well, very hard-nosed running backs and lineman that blocks it well. You've just got to read your keys in that type of offense.
Q: Are you going to be able to stop it?
A: We're planning on it.