Eugene, Ore. -- KEZI 9 Sports is enter week two of fall camp at the Oregon high school level but that does not mean the train is slowing down. 'Blitzing the Preseason' presented by Bi-Mart continues with South Eugene high school, who is newly classified to 5A and looking to improve.
It's a new year, new classification for South Eugene football. The Axes are one of six schools to drop to 5A for football only for the next two years. But that doesn't chage much for head coach Kevin Leonard.
"We know teams are gunning for us because we're at 6A...coming from 6A to 5A," he explains. "The fact of the matter is the numbers was a numbers game and was really hurting us down to the wire. Hopefully this gives us some better equity, a little better balance but we're out to compete doesn't matter how we play."
"We're just approaching it as the same as 6A," junior quarterback Bryce Boettcher follows up. "Can't do anything different just work hard and should do the same as 6A so I don't have any expectations other than to be tough."
And following a 1-7 year, a new class is something of a fresh start.
"There's some big kids up front," says Leonard. "Our skill kids are pretty good and just our overall general attitude, again, makes us a viable team and it makes me really happy to coach this group."
"We got a whole bunch of guys that care and whole bunch of guys that work hard and that's the biggest deal in football," Boettcher explains. "I mean you can have a have a bunch of good plays, a bunch of good defenses, but if you don't work hard it doesn't mean anything."
But it's not just a new class and new league, the Axes have a new offensive coordinator as well.
"He's done a really fantastic job of relaying information to our kids," Leonard describes. "Our kids have picked it up and We're moving forward at a pace I'm happy about."
It's hard to adapt and it's easy to adapt at the same time just depends on what plays we're running type deal," Boettcher concludes. "But our players are smart and know what they're doing so they should be good."
While not where he wants it to be numbers-wise, Leonard likes this group and sees talent everywhere on the field.
"It's a mixed bag," he says. "We're gonna do things by committee. It's a fun group to coach because they've all bought in already. The investment from the kids, the commitment from the kids has all been positive."
So there's a lot of new in South Eugene: new class, new offensive coordinator, new name and a new group ready to lead in 2018.
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