Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013 | 6:10 p.m.
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Prep Sports Now returns from hibernation just in time for football season. Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer go through every league and discuss every team in town, giving predictions along and players to watch along the way.
The Bonanza football players didn’t need to speak. Their reactions said everything.
After the school hired Kevin Volcic to fill its coaching vacancy this offseason, he met with his new team to outline his plans going forward. One of the key topics was the offense, where Volcic announced he would ditch the run between the tackles at all costs approach that the Bengals used last year.
“You could see their eyes getting big,” Volcic said. “They knew we were going back to what they were good at.”
No school underwent a more bizarre and ultimately unfulfilling transformation in 2011-12 than Bonanza. The Bengals broke out two years ago, going 7-2 in the regular season behind an exciting set of sophomores led by running back Jayveon Taylor, who rushed for eight yards per carry.
But they completely regressed a season ago, posting a 2-7 record with Taylor barely getting any carries in some games. Volcic, who was on the staff at rival Durango, remembers being as surprised as everyone else.
“If you were in the valley, you knew they were more of a fast, finesse team so it didn’t make much sense for them to play smash mouth,” Volcic said. “It took them a whole year to learn what was going on.”
Volcic is determined to get the most out of the Class of 2014 core that showed they were capable in 2011. He wanted his schemes to fit his personnel, which is why he implemented the Pistol on offense.
Taylor will start in the slot, where the Bengals can get him the ball in a variety of ways, with Carlos Soto as the featured back.
“He’ll be our workhorse,” Volcic said of Soto. “I’m expecting big things out of him.”
Other seniors — Bonanza has 26 of them — who Volcic spoke highly of included linemen Jordan Knapp and Taalolo Tufele, who have both drawn recruiting interest.
Scott Dore joins Taylor and Soto as offensive weapons. Volcic wasn’t left with a quarterback, so he moved who he felt was one of his smartest and best leaders into the demanding position.
That’s Tyler Penkalski, who doesn’t lack for confidence if nothing else.
“We want to beat everybody, and pretty much beat Gorman,” Penkalski sad. “We just have to work as a team and get everyone together on the same page.”
Bonanza has already shown it can be successful. Volcic hopes he’s putting his players back in a position where they can prove it again.
“Our speed is evident,” Volcic said. “We’ve got a lot of guys who are fast. That’s going to be our strength.”