By Gerry Steele
Two Class 4A state football championships in three season.
Baker coach Dave Johnson would like nothing more than to make that three titles in four years.
"The titles are a great motivation," Johnson said. "The kids know the system works and it's great for their confidence."
The Bulldogs graduated the bulk of last year's title team, but Johnson and his staff still have a good-sized group of players who saw varsity action.
"It's their turn," the Baker coach said.
"We'll go through some growing pains. But we have come a long way since our July camp."
The Bulldogs graduated most of their offensive line, but still have several faces to choose from.
"We have a lot of options up front which is nice," Johnson said.
"On the perimeter we're pretty athletic. We're decently fast, and are able to catch the ball.
"The kids have been working on the field and in the weight room," Johnson said.
Defensively, John said the frontrunners are Colby O'Grady, Zarom Bruce and Ben Baxter at cornerback; Thomas Hamilton and Keaton Bachman at safety; Micah Mespelt, Lukas Huggins, Austin Jones and Mason Powell at linebacker; and Justin Aydolette, Gabe Logsdon, Trevor Ball and Keith Kramer on the line.
Offensively, Hamilton steps in at quarterback.
Baxter is the No. 1 running back; Bachman, Bruce and O'Grady at wide receiver; Huggins and Porter Cline at the inside receiving positions; and Kramer, Kaloni Heiser, Roland Cook, Logsdon, and Ball on the line.
"These kids have been on the field in varsity play," Johnson said.
"It's not like they've never been under the lights.
"We have high expectations," Johnson said.