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Looking forward to 2012

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Posted: Friday, December 2, 2011 6:21 am

What has been talked about for the last two years appears likely to pass come Feb. 2.Killeen is returning to the Class 5A ranks.

After turning in an enrollment of 2,192.5 students during the University Interscholastic League’s “snapshot” day in October, the Roos are expected to join fellow city schools Ellison, Harker Heights and Shoemaker in the same district by the beginning of next fall.

The Class 5A-4A cutoff during the last cycle was 2,064 when Killeen’s enrollment number then was 1,829.

The cutoff dropped from 2008 (2,084), the first time the 5A-4A cutoff line decreased since 1990.It’ll be the first time all four KISD schools will be district competitors in all sports, with Killeen, which has been in 4A since 2002, likely joining what is now District 12-5A along with former longtime rivals Belton, Copperas Cove and Temple.

The move could be great for area rivalries and sports fans, but it could mean even more playoff struggles for the Killeen-based programs as Shoemaker is currently the last city team to make the 5A playoffs (2008).

Roos offense could dominate

There’s a lot of optimism after the Roos’ three-round postseason, but there’s also a lot to be done to build off of that.

Returning are sophomore quarterback Garrett Gaskamp, two of the offense’s most dynamic running backs and two of the Roos’ top-three receivers, but they will all learn real quick how this year’s offensive line and defense helped Killeen’s 2011 success.

Killeen has to replace the bulk of its offensive line, and 10 of 11 defensive starters, but there are upcoming replacements — callup running back Daniel McCants showed the 10-0 JV team wasn’t without its stars.

 

Few people were happier than first-year head coach Channon Hall when Shoemaker snapped its 31-game losing streak in the 2011 season finale against Ellison. But, just a couple of days later Hall explained that 1-9 wouldn’t get it done in 2012.

With standout running back Johnny Jefferson returning and a recent tradition of putting a stout defense on the field, the Grey Wolves have more than just their 32-24 win over Ellison to build on.Jefferson ran for more than 1,000 yards and 12 touchdowns this season but was most effective when Shoemaker ran its wildcat offense.

Around sophomore linebacker Malike Clemons, the District 12-5A Defensive Newcomer, the Grey Wolves’ defense will likely be as formidable as it has been the last couple of years.

Featuring a loaded backfield with four seniors, Lampasas had one of the area’s more dominant run games, amassing nearly 4,800 rushing yards en route to the area round of the 3A playoffs — thanks in large part to nearly four 1,000-yard rushers.

But next year, 4,600 of those yards will have graduated and moved on. Gone will be fullback Secody Howard (1,421 yards), tailback Marcus Kehoe (1,141), quarterback Brandon Scott (1,042) and running back Justin Maldonado (990).

The lone returners are primarily coming on the defense side of the ball, where 6-foot-2 lineman Cody Crofoot will try to keep the defending District 25-3A champions afloat until a completely revamped offense works out its growing pains.

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