With the departure of several veteran key players from 2012, Peabody-Burns 2013 football will have a different feel. Youth will be a theme, but on the field, that young blood will come from a pool of talented successful junior varsity players from the past season.
“When you have speed and athletic ability, youth should give the team promise,” said David Pickens, ninth-year head coach. “Friday nights on varsity are different, and our athletes will have to move into their varsity roles quickly, but we believe they will. They have the tools necessary, they are just young.”
Mostly juniors will lead the team this year. Braxton Kyle will take over the quarterback position, vacated by 2013 senior Hunter Pickens. Kyle has been a varsity player for the past two seasons and as a junior has experience at several positions, including backup to the quarterback. He has a good head for the game and likes the strategy involved in making a play work.
Kevin Baatrup, also a junior, is a hard worker with good outside speed. He is athletic and could affect the team with receiving and rushing skills. Junior Kaden Gibson is a strong utility player. He is tough and works hard and should affect offensive and defensive lines for the team. One other junior, Nick Preheim, has deceptive speed and a good work ethic. Kyle Seeney is a new junior face and will join the varsity crew in 2013. Seeney is a transfer from Newton with experience and loves the weight room.
One senior, Fred Winsor, joins the team after two years on the sideline. He has strength and is athletic. With just this year to play at the varsity level, he will have to come on strong early.
Freshman Andrew Wedel will make his presence known on the line. He sports a good frame and speed. High school varsity will be a big step.
PBHS opens with White City on Sept. 6. Pickens will be assisted again this season by Bob Kyle.