Vols looking to build on 2013
The Lee Williams High front lines get to work during Thursday’s practice at LWHS. The Vols scrimmage Wickenburg at 7 p.m. Thursday in Wickenburg.
4-6 in varsity's first year a promising foundation
8/17/2014 6:00:00 AM
By Hubble Ray Smith
KINGMAN - Coming off a 4-6 record last year, Lee Williams High School Volunteers are looking to break even in their second year of Division V varsity football and third year for the program overall.
They open the season at 7 p.m. Aug. 29 at home against Parker.
The Volunteers racked up key wins last year against Sedona Red Rock, Pinon, Greyhills Academy and local rival Kingman Academy and could have gone 5-5 except for mistakes that cost them the game against Camp Verde.
"We had one get away from us," third-year coach Eugene Kramer said. "We did some things where we could have won the game with different situations."
The Volunteers return 22 juniors and several sophomores who are going to be vital to the team, Kramer said.
Players expected to fill big roles for Lee Williams this year are Braxton Burgess, quarterback and free safety; Dallas Morgan, running back and middle linebacker; Jason Ruiz, running back and middle linebacker; Caleb Smith, defensive tackle and guard; and Landon Kramer, tight end and defensive end.
Burgess and Morgan are both "gutsy" kids who give a great effort on the field, Kramer said. Landon Kramer, the coach's son, is an "extremely hard worker" who stays humble on and off the field, the coach said.
"You take a group of freshmen and sophomores and get your butt handed to you the first four games and the fifth game you lose 59-0 and they finished up winning four out of five. You've got to give those kids a lot of credit," Kramer said.
Kip Kensington is a 6-3, 300-pound nose guard who can move, Kramer said. Other notable players for Lee Williams High are offensive tackles Johnny Lopez and Tim Lutz and center Kenyan Rawley.
The team will be run-oriented and will stick to fundamentals, blocking and tackling, and eliminating mental mistakes, the coach said.
"That's our philosophy. We want to run the ball and come out with play-action. That's how we maneuver our offensive schemes," he said.
The passing game needs work, especially with such a young group of players, he added.
"That's our main thing and just defensively playing with the speed of teams that are older than us," Kramer said. "I think we have a lot better chance of competing in all our games than last year. There were two or three games last year where we had little chance just because of size and overall speed."
Kramer went to a Catholic high school in North Dakota and to Dickinson State University and was an assistant coach at Kingman High School from 1992-96. He coached 14 years in Idaho.
Joe Juelfs coordinates the defense at Lee Williams and former Kingman High coach Ray Smith is the offensive coordinator.
Mike Cummings will coach junior varsity, assisted by Randy Cheatum.
Frosh coaches are Mitch Jantzen, James Mayfield and Todd Remington.