Wheeler will run the triple option this season, though the change doesn't mean a total overhaul of offensive schemes.
"We're still working out of the spread. It's just a shift in focus," Bearcats coach Tony Klimczak said. "We've been real receiver heavy and now we're real running back heavy, so we want to take advantage of having a multitude of running backs."
Wheeler boasts powerful fullbacks in Jake Bertucci and Matt Pappas to go with a fast wingback in Jake Wasz.
"(Bertucci)'s just an absolute bruiser, Matt's good at running the seams and (Wasz) is a true home run kid who can take a pitch 80 yards," Klimczak said. "We've got a lot of guys who can carry the ball to the end zone."
The key, as in any option attack, will be the ability of the quarterback to make the right reads. In this case, it's Riley Smith, a former receiver who played under center on JV as a sophomore.
"It's a work in progress," Klimczak said. "The biggest thing is keeping his eyes on his keys. It's going to take a while to train him, but he has the natural ability to run it. He's athletic enough and has a decent arm." -- Jim Peters
Bowman opens QB race: Bowman Academy is finding a way to replace graduated quarterback Antonio Pipkin and there's a race to the finish.
Brandon Boatner backed up Pipkin and learned from his expertise.
Des Franklin is more athletic and showing his skills early in camp.
"They're different in stature and different in what they can do," coach David Nelson said. "They're even good friends, but they're making this a competition." -- Hillary Smith
Finding the available athletes: West Side's numbers have grown in part because of success and in part because of the athleticism of its basketball players.
The Cougars have eliminated their need for multiple two-way players thanks to an influx of athletes from the hoops court.
"I was so excited that we got so many basketball players this year," coach Jason Johnson said. "There's skill and ability there, and because they're mostly juniors and seniors they'll be able to contribute right away."
There is one catch to adding first-time football players to the roster.
"They're just starting to learn how to put pads on," Johnson said. "They're not doing it right the first time." -- Hillary Smith
Foster has a new home at Michigan City: What started as a courtesy phone call last summer ended up with Michigan City coach Michael Karpinski adding another coach to his staff.
When Bob Foster was removed from South Central just days before the season opener, Karpinski reached out to Foster, just hoping to lend a sympathetic ear.
"The coaching fraternity in high school football is as tight a fraternity group that you can find in sports," Karpinski said. "I just wanted to reach out and see if he needed any help."
One phone conversation turned into another and soon the coaches sat down for a four-hour meeting that ended with Foster landing on last season's staff. Now with a full year with the Wolves under his belt, Foster is one of the most respected coaches on the staff.
"He coaches the offensive line and has been taking over a lot of the offensive duties," Karpinski said. "If you're looking at an offensive coordinator designation, that's probably 60 percent him. I still need to get my say in there as well." -- Paul Oren