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New Apex coach Joe Kilby knows that for the senior class he inherited to be successful, many players will have to learn a new position.
That goes for juniors and sophomores as well.
Kilby, who comes in after three seasons at Hillsborough’s Cedar Ridge High, takes over a program that is 6-24-1 in the past three years.
So he’s asking a little more of junior quarterback Jordan Betts, who might have to play some safety. And junior running back Rondell Gainous, who is doubling as a linebacker.
Same goes for senior wide receiver/linebacker John Hernley, and senior wide receiver/running back/defensive back Gavin Locklear.
“We’re all learning both sides of the football,” Kilby said.
“We’re just trying to create competition and depth at every position.”
The players have been willing to adjust, hoping to return to the successful years Apex enjoyed while this year’s players were in middle school.
“There’s a hunger there to get this thing turned around,” Kilby said.
Apex (1-7-1) is returning five starters on offense and five more on defense.
Kilby said he likes his teams to be physical out of a spread formation, running some option.
“We’re going to make sure the things that we do, we can execute. We may not do a lot of things, but the things we can do we’ll do well,” Kilby said. “Whether we’re spread or in a tight formation, we’re going to be physical.”
The defense has a number of seniors who will be counted on to improve last year’s unit, including defensive linemen Jordan Milinichik and John Barrett, linebacker Jordan Allen and defensive backs David Dejarnette and Jereme Cleare.
Apex won’t take the field Friday, as its season opener is Aug. 24 at Durham’s Riverside High.
Kilby said he feels good about the extra week to prepare.
Besides, it’s another week for his team to buy into his system – on both sides of the ball.