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December 21, 2014

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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL::

Boulder City outlines three steps to success

Two-way standout Xavier Steel prepares for senior season

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Boulder City High football players, from left, Dillon Prach, Jackson Dunagan, Thomas Prach and Sam Woodbury.

Prep Sports Now

Football season preview

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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.

Sunrise Region — Division 1-A

Boulder City football players Michael Kelso and D. J. Koopman Thursday, July 26, 2012. Launch slideshow »

Alex Kazel, Boulder City head coach

Alex Kazel, Boulder City head coach, talks about the upcoming season.

If you happen to notice a slew of teenagers sporting shirts that read “PDU”, don’t bother trying to figure out what college they attend.

It’s not a University acronym at all. And those aren’t college students, not yet at least. They’re Boulder City High football players.

“PDU” is the Eagles’ motto this year. It stands for, “physical, discipline and unselfish.”

“Those are the things that worked well for us last year and we know those are things we have to do again,” Boulder City coach Alex Kazel said. “That’s how we have to play out here.”

Boulder City is coming off one of its best seasons in recent memory. The Eagles went 9-2, winning one playoff game before Cheyenne ousted them by one score, despite their inherent disadvantages.

Always struggling with numbers in the program, Boulder City’s varsity roster had only 24 players last year. And that’s the same amount of bodies the Eagles will have available in 2013.

Kazel knows they’re going to need to be strong in the same aforementioned areas as last year to make up for the deficiency. So do his players.

“We learned last year that they are going to be faster than us,” senior lineman Jackson Dunagan said. “But if we hit them hard, we will disable their speed.”

Dunagan, along with the rest of Boulder City’s best players, will rarely ever come off of the field. Dillon Prach supplements his role as the leader on defense at middle linebacker as a guard on the offensive line.

Sam Woodbury will get carries at running back one possession and then be assigned to cover the opponent’s best receiver on the next. The same will hold true for Xavier Steel, the undeniable star of this year’s Boulder City squad.

Steel ran for more than 1,000 yards last year and averaged more than 10 yards per carry. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect an even more productive season.

“Week to week, it depends on how we’re going to play him,” Kazel said. “We’re going to adapt and be creative. We’ll see how conscious everyone is of him game by game.”

Boulder City’s reputation over the last couple seasons has been a team that lines up and runs right at the defense repeatedly. But Kazel teases that he could mix it up this season, joking that “no one wants to believe” him when he says they’ll throw 10 times per game.

Trenton Carmell must hope Kazel lives up to those proclamations. The junior quarterback picked up a few reps last year at quarterback, but Kazel says he’s ready to make a leap this season.

The whole team could be, as long as they follow “PDU”.

“Look at the 100 times from track meets and I don’t think we’re the fastest team,” Kazel said. “Look at the lifting marks from the benching contests and I doubt we’re going to be the strongest team. I don’t think we match up well with everyone on paper. But we’ve got that attitude. We can win by being the more physical team.”

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

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