CASSVILLE, MO - Wildcat nation has experienced its fair share of success the past 4 seasons; 51-6 record with 2 state championships. In fact, Cassville hasn't lost a Big 8 game since October 17, 2008 to Monett. Last year however, the Wildcats were upended by another Wildcat, Rogersville. L-R finally overcame Cassville in the class 3 quarterfinals for the first time in 4 tries on its way to a state championship.
HEAD COACH - David Large, 11th season at Cassville
2011 RECORD - 12-1, lost to Rogersville in class 3 quarterfinals
PLAYERS TO WATCH - Chris Dunker (RB/LB), Hayden Prater (RB/LB), Garrett Kirk (WR/DB), Stone Phelps (WR/Punter)
The Wildcats return a ton of talent from last years state quarterfinal team, and while expectations are always high in the proud Barry County community, there is no tag put on a state title.
"We don't really make goals," said head coach David Large. "We just tell them what our expectations are, and our kids expect more from themselves."
The calling card for the Wildcats always starts on defense. Long time coordinator Lance Parnell returns to lead a group rich in talent and experience.
"Parnell is one of the best defensive coordinators in the state. He really does a lot with those kids. He's a great motivator and a great scheme guy."
That group is led by a trio of returning linebackers, including Chris Dunker and Hayden Prater, who will also share the primary running back duties.
The offensive line is another huge area of strength.
The one area that remains in question is quarterback. Sophomore Gabe Kirk has the unenviable task of replacing super talented 2-year starter Ricky Nichols, who is now at Missouri Southern.
"You're not going to replace a kid like that," said Large. "You just hope you can find a kid that can come in and do things right."
The Wildcats once again open the season against class 5 Branson at home on August 24th. Week 2 they hit the road to non-conference McDonald County on August 31st. Then open the Big 8, hosting defending class 2 state champion Lamar on September 7th.