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November 26, 2014

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Northwest Division Preview:

Talented Legacy squad knows importance of opening season strong

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Sam Morris

Legacy High School football players Elijah Turner, L.J. McMorris, Steffan Webb and D’Andre Hughes.

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Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer celebrate the return of football season with an hour-long podcast diving into anything and everything regarding local high schools. They also look back on the victories by Bishop Gorman and Moapa Valley in the Sollenberger Classic and finish with week one picks.

Everything went wrong for the Legacy football team last year.

The Longhorns endured injuries, letdown and a number of close defeats. The 4-6 season was not what anyone in the program had in mind a year after going undefeated in the regular season and winning the Northwest division for the first time.

“It didn’t help with the way we started,” Legacy coach Dave Snyder Jr. said of last year’s problems. “We were beating Spring Valley 13-0 and then fell apart after halftime. A week after against Faith Lutheran, we just didn’t play well and they put up 400 yards against us.”

“You start like that and wonder where you’re going. Once we got rolling and realized where we should get, it was too late.”

Snyder hopes the core of returners can prevent a similar start to this season. The unquestioned leader of this year’s Legacy team is L.J. McMorris, a senior running back who’s the only roster member left who was on the varsity squad during 2009’s undefeated season.

McMorris missed most of last season with an injury. Senior quarterback Elijah Turner also wasn’t available last season after he hurt his ankle during summer camp.

Turner has plenty of weapons at his disposal, including senior Steffan Webb, an all-purpose offensive threat who has gone from unknown to heralded in no time.

“He’s a talented kid, but when you don’t play football but for two years of your life, you’re still raw,” Snyder said. “He’s still growing mentally more than anything.”

The arrival of a loaded sophomore class should help Legacy immediately. A number of underclassmen will contribute this year, with middle linebacker Josh Phillips standing out the most so far.

Depth is a concern for Snyder, but he thinks it can develop as the season goes on. For that to happen, the Longhorns need to stay healthy and play well from the beginning — two things that didn’t happen a year ago.

“We’re definitely not in a rebuilding year,” Snyder said. “These kids have matured from last year. It’s just a matter of some 10th-graders stepping up.”

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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