East High was the last Sioux City public school to win a state football championship. That was almost 30 years ago, in 1984. The Black Raiders return a talented senior class that hopes to end that drought.
East averaged over 38 points per game last season. Tailback Ronald Carter ran for over 600 yards and scored 10 touchdowns. Greg Kirwan was the teams leading rusher with over 700 yards and 15 scores, but Kirwan will move to quarterback this fall.
"We're real excited about Greg Kirwan playing quarterback," said East head coach Bob Goodvin. He kind of brings us that two-dimensional quarterback that we didn't have necessarily last year with the ability to run and throw."
"We're just going to try to spread the ball around," said Kirwan. "Just get everybody some touches, be hard for defenses to pick on one guy."
Kirwan will be throwing a lot to Ronald Nash, who caught 47 passes for over 500 yards as a junior. Coach Goodvin says he might be the best wide receiver in the state. Every point will be needed, as high school offenses get more sophisticated.
"I think, especially at the 4A level, and I don't know if it's true at the lower levels, but offenses have become a lot more diverse," said Goodvin. "We play nine games and we'll see eight different types of offenses."
Defensively, Chase Kern made 45 tackles from his defensive end spot. Carter Lilly, Davis Camarigg and Wyatt Mounts will also make the East defense tough as the Black Raiders try to get further in the playoffs than last year's second round exit.
"We've just got to make sure we're preparing well for the teams that we're playing and making sure we're always working hard in practice, never taking any reps off," said Kern."
"I think you make those steps in the offseason, that type of preparation when it comes to designing your offense and defense to meet your kids, and kids working hard in the weight room," added Goodvin. "I think that's where you've got to do that."
The Black Raiders new division includes playoff teams from West Des Moines Valley, Urbandale and Indianola. East opens the season against Bishop Heelan on Friday, the 30th at Olsen Stadium.
Thursday at six, we'll preview the Crusaders.
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