Bauxite: Miners set to bounce back

After a nine-win 2009 season, Bauxite fell hard in 2010 – its first year in the 7-4A – missing the playoffs for just the second time in 17 years.

With 20 lettermen returning, the Miners (1-9) will try to return to prominence in 2011 with a heavy focus on red zone offense and tackling.

All-league quarterback Tim Dunlap (5-8, 160) is dominant both on the ground and through the air.

The senior ran for 1,250 yards and seven scores last season while adding three touchdown passes. Promoted sophomore Jordan Branson (6-1, 170) led the 6-3 junior high team in 2010 and will back up Dunlap.

The offensive line features many seniors, including tackles Matt Steele (6-3, 210) and Jake Gann (5-11, 300) and guards Justin Reader (5-10, 290) and Jonathan Cole (5-10, 225). Junior Cody Allred (5-10, 200) promotes from junior varsity to play center.

The backfield also appears stronger in 2011 with senior Jaye Spradlin (5-10, 200) and junior Garett Wilcox (5-9, 185) splitting carries. Junior Dylan Herron (5-7, 140) missed six weeks in 2010 with a broken foot and provides a quick red zone option as well.

Spradlin and Steele lead the defense, which returns six starters and looks to reduce its league-high 43 points allowed per game last fall.