Coach hopes league improves Wildcats
De Soto head football coach Brad Scott hopes success in the summer seven-on-seven football league will translate into a playoff berth next fall.
"That would be great," he said. "But once you put on the pads, it seems to turn out different. Right now we are looking to get a good feel for how we stand athletically with the teams we'll play against this season."
The Wildcats put themselves in a chance to win the league championship this summer after they upended fourth-seeded Paola on Monday. All they have to do now is knock off top-seeded Baldwin.
The Wildcats are guaranteed two games Monday. If they win against the Bulldogs at 6:30 p.m., they play in the championship game at 7:30.
Lose, and they're in the consolation game, also at 7:30 p.m.
De Soto started the season by going 4-2 in a tournament at Kansas University and then won both of its games in the first week of league play. The Wildcats have since then split four games during the last two weeks, improving to 8-4 on the season.
After his team started the season a little banged up, Scott said several players had really stepped their play up a notch.
"We got those kids back," he said, "and now we are seeing a lot of the guys who had back-up roles last season really stepping up their games.
"Now we have kids that can rotate in and not drop off much.We will be able to go three or four deep this season."
Offensively, quarterback Neil Erisman, Leif Goleman, Ryan Brown and Aaron Hueser have had impressive summers while Luke Young and Tyler Leahy have done well on defense.
Scott said he also liked what he has seen in Danny Doherty, Shawn Roberts and Jacob Rupe.
"They have made some big catches," he said. "They are head and shoulders ahead of where they were last year."
Although a lot of freshmen have gone out for the seven-on-seven league, Scott said they probably wouldn't get a lot of playing time.
"It will give them a chance to pick up the system a little bit," Scott said. "They can see how we do things. They'll probably play some on special teams, or a little here and there."
Although winning the league would be a great way to go into the 2003 football season, Scott is more concerned with his team learning routes, reads and coverage.
"We want to see how we match up with the other teams in the league," he said. "Playing in this league also assures we won't have to teach competing again."