Effingham Daily News
---- — TOLEDO — Over the past 14 years, the Cumberland Pirates have gone through a number of offensive strategies.
Cumberland started out as a power I-formation team when Kevin Maynard became the school's offensive coordinator in 2000. They've also run the wishbone double wing and the spread pro formation over the years.
For a coach like Maynard, adaptation is the name of the game, and the 2013 Cumberland offense will adapt to its talent.
"We'll be a multiple formation group and try to get the ball to as many kids as we can and utilize our speed," Maynard said. "We will run the option, I'm an option guy. We will throw the ball as well."
Keying up that offensive attack will junior starting quarterback Monte Wolke, who was under center last year during Cumberland's 6-3 regular season and trip to the playoffs.
Many of the team's skill players were new in 2012, with the offensive line holding much of the experience. Still the offense struggled at times.
Now, much of the offense has experience, starting with Wolke.
"He's healthy, he's stronger, he's faster than he was a year ago," Maynard said. "We're going to be able to put the ball in is hands and let him make some decisions for us."
Hunter Elwood also returns as the team's starting running back, although he will have plenty of support in the backfield.
Senior Dylan Martin, junior Houston Napier and sophomores Cameron James and Danny Duniphan are expected to bolster the team's offensive capabilities with their speed.
"They're very quick young men and good decision makers too," Maynard said.
While last year's team had a very experienced offensive line, only Alex Carter and Charley Ault return to this year's line. Michael Reynolds and newcomer Hunter Light are expected to help out.
Light is the team's biggest player at 6-foot-0 and 300 pounds, which could be useful on a smaller team.
"Hunter Light played in youth football and hasn't been back since," Maynard said. "He's been a surprise throughout camp and the summer He's pretty light on his feet for 300 pounds."
Mixing up the offense will be key for the Pirates, and things have gone well early.
Maynard said he was happy with how the team performed throughout the summer and in the 7-on-7 season, especially on offense.
"We had a good summer," he said. "If we're going to throw it, we're not going to be nervous about it. (But) you've got be able to run the ball between the tackles, and we're going to do that."
Ethan Kemper also moves from running back to tight end, and is one of the team's retuning linebackers on defense. Elwood will anchor the team's secondary.
The defense was stout last year, and to be stout again this year, it'll be about scheme and finding some new players. Most of the team's defensive standouts, like Jamin Repp, have moved on from the program after graduation.
"We've got kids who are going to be first-year starters," Maynard said. "We're putting in a scheme that we think will be an aggressive style of play and matches the abilities of our players. An attribute of ours is the speed we possess."
One of those new players is Cory Judson, who will step in at linebacker in his junior year.
"He's a downhill player, a nose-to-the-football kind of kid," Maynard said.
No matter who plays, Maynard will have to find a winning combination with a 34-man roster.
The season begins for the Pirates Friday night at 7 p.m. against Paris.
Seniors: Dylan Martin, Ethan Kemper, Lawrence Shuey, Charley Ault, Antonio Kilgore, Michael Reynolds, Hunter Light, Alex Carter, Holden Elwood
Juniors: Monte Wolke, Tyler Rowe, Blaine Yocum, Houston Napier, Jared Brummer, Cody Judson
Sophomores: Cameron James, Danny Duniphan, Gunner McMechan, Brad Cole, Trent Carll, Quentin Hopkins, Austin Kline
Freshmen: Tanner Kingery, Tyler Carter, Brody Donsbach, Dillon Howard, Keaton Titus, Dane Lewis, Drew Fritts, Mike Wolke, Presley Randolph, Levi Reynolds, Cameron Wingler, Austin Howard