Monday, August 26, 2013
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Some uncertainties on O-line and D-line, but Railers will be ready

By Scott Kirby

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[August 26, 2013]  The excitement of a new football season is in the air. As the Lincoln Railer football squad gathered on the practice field Aug. 15, they kicked off their 2013 campaign with intentions.

Coach Andy McDonald is very optimistic as he enters his third season as head football coach of the Lincoln Railers.

Although Coach Mac has lost his entire offensive and defensive line from last year due to graduating seniors, he feels that last year's juniors and sophomores can step up and fill his line needs.

One of the individuals Coach Mac is depending on is senior Tristen Cooper. Cooper is the only returning lineman who has had any experience in a varsity game. He saw a little time last year and will be called on to anchor and lead the offensive line this year.

Coach also mentioned that the numbers of kids on the varsity team this year are up. Therefore he will have some depth to work with throughout the game.

On the offensive side of the ball, starting quarterback Austin Krusz returns for his senior year. Krusz started every game for the Railers at quarterback as a junior.

"Krusz will have to step up and be leader of this football team," Coach Mac says. "The success of the offense will depend on the play of Krusz at quarterback. He (Krusz) is a very athletic kid and will be used as a runner as well as controlling the passing game."

Some of the key targets for Krusz will be junior Adam Conrady, senior Wes White and junior Will Cook.

Coach McDonald says there are several positions that are not filled and are still being competed. Chris Doung is competing for the backfield position.

"Doung has had a good week of practice and is earning a chance to see a lot of time in our backfield," Coach Mac says.

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A concern for the Railer team this year is on the defensive side of the ball. The defensive line and linebackers are still up in the air. There has been some progress in these areas as the kids have gotten more practices under their belt. The kids are still competing hard at practice, fighting for the last spots on the starting lineup. The strength of the defense will be in the secondary.

Returning starter Shawn Cannon enters his junior year as cornerback. Cannon will continue to be a shutdown corner and will be called on to lead the defensive backs.

Junior Will Cook will have the responsibilities on the other side of the field at cornerback.

"Cook is emerging as an aggressive and hard-nosed corner," Coach Mac says.

The Railers had their annual "Meet the Railers" event Friday night. There was a great turnout of fans to show their support and to get a first look at what kind of teams the Railers will have this year on the varsity, junior varsity and freshman squads.

The Railers open their season at Handlin Field this week Friday at 7 p.m. Their opponents will be the Crimsons of Jacksonville. The Railers lost to Jacksonville last year 48-0. Jacksonville has a very big and fast team that can put points up on the scoreboard at will.

"Our defense will have a tough matchup Friday night," says Coach Mac, "but our kids are up for it."


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