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Countdown to kickoff: Sand Devils ‘have to learn how to win'

Modified: Thursday, Aug 22nd, 2013

Page High varsity football coach Jeff Wheatley motions for the rest of the Sand Devils to join his first-team offense as it prepares for Tuba City’s defense Aug. 23 in the season opener. Center Ty Bennett stands immediately behind Wheatley as assistant coaches Paul Kabonic (white shirt) and Ryan Twohatchet look on.
With the season opener fast approaching, Page High head coach Jeff Wheatley sounds pretty comfortable with the way his team is shaping up despite not yet having a starting quarterback.

“It’s night and day over what we were last season at this time,” said the second-year coach.

“Because we have so many guys back, they’re familiar with the system,” he said before practice Aug. 19. “That helps us play faster by default; they don’t have to think about what they’re doing.”

The Sand Devils are a junior-heavy team, Wheatley said, noting there are just four sophomores on the varsity squad.

Whatever experience the rest of the team enjoys, however, doesn’t extend to the quarterback position. Last year’s starter, Drew Wilson, graduated.

The coaching staff has not settled on a starter between Dillon Nockideneh and Andrew Runyan, a decision Wheatley said would be a last-minute one. It’s likely that each will take snaps when the Devils travel to Tuba City Aug. 23 for the season opener, Wheatley said.

For the complete article see the 08-21-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 08-21-2013 paper.

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