The fall sports season began August 9, with the first official practices for fall sports teams.
Gretna was one of the surprise teams of the 2020 season. The Dragons finished last season with a 6-2 record and a playoff appearance. In 2021 the Dragons are looking to build off of last seasons success.
Here are notes and observations from Gretna’s practice last week.
Zane Flores is one of if not the best true quarterback’s in the state. The 6-3, 195-pound junior will look to build off of his 1,926 yards and 18 touchdowns from his senior campaign. Flores clearly is the leader of the offense and his understanding of the Dragon offense is about as good as it gets. Some question his accuracy but a 69% completion percentage last season is pretty accurate. This season, look for Flores to use his legs to buy time in the passing game and designed quarterback runs to open up the offense.
Mick Huber (6-0, 190) shined at running back when he got the opportunity late in the season. Huber, a senior, finished 2020 with three straight 100-yard plus rushing performances. Huber should help bring more balance to the offense in 2021. A two-way player, Huber looks as though he will have a big impact at linebacker. Sophomore Isaiah Weber could be an impact player on the varsity level opposite Huber at linebacker.
The defensive line has depth. Junior Harrison Weber will provide strength and speed from the nose tackle position and Jake Lukis (6-3, 260) will be a part of a rotation along the three-man front.
Offensive line was a strength last season, in 2021 it is a bit of an unknown. Replacing three of the starting five from an offense that averaged nearly 400 yards per game (389.9) in 2020 will be a bit of a task. There are some good options with some experience that should help fill those voids left due to graduation. At left tackle, senior Jack Johnson looks as though he will be the starter and junior John Schauffer is slated as the left guard. Senior Chase Anderson (6-0, 265) returns and will be the center. On the right side, senior Mason Heckenlively is the right guard and junior Mason Goldman (6-5, 235) will play right tackle.
The receiver position was a clear strength in 2020. Trevor Marshall and Jackson Alexander have graduated and their production was extremely high. The duo combined for 17 of the 20 receiving touchdowns, 1,584 of the 2,107 receiving yards and 99 of the 149 team receptions last season. Although different players, there are some good options to fill the lost production. The leading candidates are juniors. Tight end Caleb Schnell (6-2, 195) is the leading returning pass catcher with 19 receptions and 186 yards. Joe Roll (5-10, 175) is a sure handed threat that can play both in the slot and outside receiver. Roll had 10 receptions for 177 yards and two touchdowns in 2020. Tyson Bojanowski (5-10, 170), a junior, is a two-way player that should have an impact at receiver and should start at safety defensively.