Coach: Kenneth Schofield, 16th year
Career record: 139-106
Last year: 7-4, 1-3 in Region 3-A; lost to Ridge Spring-Monetta 33-21 in first round of 1A Division II playoffs
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Assistant coaches: Scott Steen, offensive coordinator/offensive line; Cody Mobley, wide receivers/special teams; Terrell Hutchinson, defensive coordinator/linebackers; Greg Koehler, defensive ends; Walter Lamar, defensive backs; Antonio Artis, defensive tackles.
Returning starters: 5 offense, 5 defense
Twitter account: @gfhsfootball
Key players: Sr. OL Tyrek Hoover, Sr. OL Mylek Hoover, Sr. TE Raheem Bowers, Sr. WB Deandre Perry, Jr. WB Deandre Green, Sr. QB Pierce Funderburk, Jr. OL Corey Roof, Sr. WB Zykerrion White, Jr. OL Zykeyvious McIlwain.
Numbers are smaller than usual at Great Falls in 2015 and coach Kenneth Schofield faces one of his biggest challenges in his 16 years at the school. The Red Devils were hit by graduation like every other school, but lost four college-bound football players from a roster with less than 30 players.
“I feel good about where we’re at, but we’ve got a long way to go,” said Schofield, before adding, “and some of it, I don’t know that you can get to.”
All of Great Falls’ defensive coaches are new as are more than half of the starters on that side. Schofield knows the Red Devils will be physically strong, but he’s concerned about a perceived lack of speed thus far. And of course depth will be a concern as well. Great Falls has 205 students, and nearly a quarter of the school’s male population is playing football.
Schofield wasn’t sure about this 2014 team either. It ended up winning its first seven games in a row.
“Then what I feared, happened,” he said. “Our safety tackled the ground and popped his shoulder out, and our defensive end transferred back to (Andrew Jackson). The people we put on the field didn’t have the speed.”
It sounds gloomy but Great Falls has always overachieved during Schofield’s tenure.
“You can do a lot of things to these boys,” said Schofield. “But one thing you can’t do is you can’t take their heart. They’re from Great Falls and they know it; and you’re gonna know it when it’s over with.”
Aug. 21 Blacksburg
Aug. 28 at Gray Collegiate Academy
Sept. 4 at Buford
Sept. 11 Andrew Jackson
Sept. 18 Open
Sept. 25 Wagener-Salley
Oct. 1 at C.A. Johnson* (Thursday)
Oct. 9 Gray Collegiate Academy
Oct. 16 at McBee*
Oct. 23 Lamar*
Oct. 30 at Lewisville*
* Region 3-A game
Opponents’ 2014 records: 23-71 (.244 winning percentage)