An annual Cap Eight 4A favorite, Wake Forest-Rolesville football has an opportunity to make a new name for itself this year, said coach Reggie Lucas.
This team takes on a new identity, he said. Usually coming into the season, people are saying Wake Forest-Rolesville is the team to beat. I havent heard that anywhere (this year). Theres a lot of pressure going into the year.
With a little less outside attention than usual, Lucas said his team has been able to focus on improving with each practice and getting ready for the upcoming year, which makes him confident in this squad.
Last season was the first time in five years the Cougars didnt win at least a share of the conference title. Still, Lucas considers the season a success.
Wake Forest-Rolesville lost three games in 2011. The team started with an early season 20-17 overtime loss to East Wake and ended with two losses first in the regular-season finale and again two weeks later in the playoffs to eventual Cap Eight champion Leesville Road.
We didnt really miss a beat until the end, Lucas said.
Those losses to Leesville Road were the only games Wake Forest-Rolesville allowed an opponent to eclipse the 30-point park. The Cougars held opponents to an average of less than 20 points while they consistently put more than 33 on the scoreboard.
While this years team comes in with less outside pressure, Lucas squad has several players who are looking for certain results in the upcoming season.
We have returning varsity players with experience and expectations, Lucas said.
Quarterback Cameron Fray and running backs Chris Love and Petey Williams will look to go out on top in their senior year.
Fray completed 25 of 60 passes for 412 yards last year, while Love rushed for 813 yards and eight touchdowns.
Williams added 36 yards per game and scored seven touchdowns.
Loves younger brother, Bryce, brings an additional boost of speed on offense, and junior Tyler Newhouse will contribute on the offensive line, Lucas said.
Offensively, we have some really good speed in the backfield and some good passing, so were looking to be really versatile this year, he said.
Having lost a number of starters on the defensive side, Lucas is looking forward to seeing how the team will play on that side of the ball.
But Lucas wont say the defense is in question, adding that he expects seniors Blake Williams and Taylor Bagley to play a big role for the team.
We havent played yet, Lucas said. When we play well see what we need to work on.
The Cougars open the season at Durham Jordan at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 17.