K2 Gridiron Report: Douglas Bearcats

"It's a situation where we lost 22 seniors, this group of junior and seniors did very well at the JV level last year and they all got to play together and had that experience, but it's not that friday night experience," Coach Jay Rhoades said. "You got the bigger crowds, the cars on the hill. All those types of things and it's really time for the to step up and really become Varsity football players."

Down I-25 in Douglas...the Bearcats are gearing for a rebuilding year.

"To tell you the truth these are my favorite years, that when we don't have a bunch of kids coming back, the pressures...you don't really have the same pressure. You can really focus on getting better each day and then you see what happens during the season," Jay Rhoades said.

The Douglas Bearcats move forward this season without 7 all state players from last year. They have a new quarterback and new wide receivers.

"Last year's team had a lot of talented players and I think they really pushed us in practice to be good, so that's something to build off of. Also our JV team the last two seasons went 16-0. We know how to win, so we just have to put it all together," Harley Rhoades said.

"We've always had a good chemistry since 7th grade and middle school and through last year. We've played a lot together and I'm really comfortable with his passes," Dawson Bratton said.

Like QB Ty Larson last year, Harley Rhoades likes to move the chains a similar way.

"Any deep route... I like to get it down the field and have my receivers get underneath it," Harley Rhoades said.

So you'll be going for those deep routes?

"Yes," Bratton said.

Douglas will drive about 5 hours to meet Powell for their first game of the season.

"A lot of new kids and it's zero week. We had the same amount of days to prepare. It's just who prepared best and who's kids are going to step up the best," Jay Rhoades said.

"I think we just have to be ready to play. Powell, Douglas is always a tough match up. I know it's going to be a battle," Harley Rhoades said.

"We're going to have to adjust to the speed of the game and then just going out and playing as one together and playing fast," Bratton said.

The Rhoades' family duo at coach and quarterback will be tested come late August. I'm Megan Salle reporting in Douglas for K2 Sports