In the Trenches: Chaparral

Top lineman leads the way for what could be a very good offensive unit.

On paper the Chaparral Wolverines of Parker, Colorado look like a team to watch in 5A football next season. A combination of experience and talent could move this squad to the top of big boy football in the Centennial state. With numerous returnees on both sides of the ball, many at key positions, it is a fair assumption to say they will improve on an 8-3 playoffs season.

Paving the way for the Wolverines will be one of the top offensive lines in Colorado. A surprise to none is the ringleader of the line, Brendon Austin. The 6-6 270 pound Austin is Colorado's top recruit boasting a dozen DI offers from across the country. Austin's work as a left tackle is key to a balanced Chaparral offense that posted nearly 4,000 yards in the 09 season.

Playing opposite of Austin on the line at right tackle is 2012 mauler Shane Callahan. If Austin is the polished athletic tackle, Callahan is the marauder who you don't want to have get a hold of you. Already 6-6 and 285 pounds Callahan can open holes.

Like most offensive lines the heart and soul starts with the center and this is the case with Chaparral senior to be Nik Karas. Last season Karas started every game and was the long snapper as well. A 2nd Team All-League pick, Karas uses his experience as a wrestler to gain a leverage advantage at the line of scrimmage.

Turning this talent into a cohesive unit is old offensive line hand Rod Dobbs. Dobbs, one of the most experienced offensive line minds in Colorado, worked for years at Northern Colorado as line coach and offensive coordinator. There is little wonder that Chaparral began its offensive improvement under the guidance of Dobbs.

Lines are great and titles are won with them, but it is helpful to have skill people to block for and Chap has no shortage. Returning to get the yards from the holes and time created are numerous skilled returnees. QB Andrew Loundenback will have one of the most explosive sets of receivers in Colorado. J.D. Henry, Christian Gann and Jordan Serena combined for 88 catches last season as Loundenback threw for over 1,800 yards. With this group expect the ball to be in the air. With so much oomph up front also look for a power running game, especially with banger Jordan West returning to run the ball. The 220 pounder averaged nearly six yards a carry last season and is as subtle as a mallet.

Coaching, offensive line, skill players, add in defense and the Wolverines have a recipe for what could be a very successful 2010 season.

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