Now, with three of those running backs graduating, the Chiefs may be counting on the defense to keep them in games until the offense gets clicking again.
Sequoyah, which will wrap its spring practice session with its Black and Gold game tonight at 7 p.m., has been working during the last two weeks to put all the necessary pieces in place for a successful 2013 season.
With the loss of Blake Ingleton, Stuart Glassic and Dustin Dawson the Chiefs are looking to replace more than 3,000 yards of total offense.
Jake Garner and Blake Miller are fighting it out for the starting fullback position, while Peter Rohan, Jake Jensen, D.J. Austin, Jake Key and Adam Patterson are each trying to make their presence known at halfback.
“We have a good group of young guys fighting for it,” said coach James Teter, who is entering his fifth season with the Chiefs. “Until they get into a game situation, they won’t know what to do.”
Rising senior quarterback Lex Lauletta, who has played since his sophomore year, will return for one final campaign.
The defense, which was young last season, returns eight starters. The Chiefs will be filling holes at safety and nose guard, but are otherwise strong.
“Most of those eight have played since they were sophomores,” Teter said. “This will be their second year in our (4-3) system that we are running, since we switched defenses last year. We talked about the situation as coaches that we might have to have the defense carry us a little while until we get the young backs ready and know what they are doing. It was the reverse of that a year ago.”
Sequoyah has also had to overcome two enrollment depletions in recent years with the openings of Creekview and River Ridge. Teter feels that things are stabilizing now, and the number of players moving up from the middle-school program have shown improvement. There are currently 40 players out for the freshman team and 70 practicing for varsity.
“What we are seeing, so far, in spring looks pretty good, so I think we’ll be OK,” Teter said. “I think we are heading in the right direction.”