Bill Shaw enters his first year as head coach of the Wildcats following a 3-6 season. Shaw has plenty of coaching experience as he has coached in six state championship games at the 4A and 6A level. Shaw also coached at Friends University in 2006 and helped lead them to a conference championship, so a lack of experience is not something Wildcat fans will worry about as he takes over the program.
The Wildcats return six starters on both sides of the ball this season.
“We have a pretty strong junior and senior class as far as experience is concerned, so we feel good about it as we approach our first game,” said Shaw.
“Our offensive line is pretty much intact from last year. I feel good about them and of course we’re trying to develop and gain depth at that position.”
Cody Wittenberg has taken over the starting role at quarterback this season as a junior, and the players and coaches are confident in his ability to lead the team.
“You might say there’s a rookie back there, but he’s a very talented rookie,” said Shaw.
Jackson Schell, a sophomore, is going to be splitting time with Kyle Bobbitt, a senior, at tailback this season.
“We have chosen six senior captains to lead this team because of their commitment they have shown: Jaxon Roberts, Charlie Connell, Blake Davis, Kaden Clites, Cameron Hunt, and Hunter Armijo. We look to them for leadership and example,” said Shaw.
The coaching staff has been working with the younger players to develop their skills and prepare them for the season.
“Our young pups, each and every day we work on fundamentals with them and try to put together the pieces of the puzzle as far as what we’re doing offensively and defensively, “ said Shaw.
“I’ve considered from day one that we have to develop a strong work ethic, and I think we’re gaining that each and every day. We’re going to pay close attention to all the details. We’re going to break things down and scout our opponent very well and be organized… and I think any good program turns all the stones over to make sure you’re in good shape.”
Shaw has seen substantial gains in speed and strength from the summer conditioning and is looking forward to seeing it on display on Friday nights. Shaw addressed three areas of improvement before week one: Giving great effort all the time, attention to detail, and making football a priority.
The Wildcats kick off their season Friday, Sep. 1 at 7 pm at Mulvane.