COACHING STAFF: Mike Emmons, 145-85 for 24 years at NCHS/overall. Assistants are Kevin O’Neal, Reid Randolph, Mitch Jenkins, Eric Krampe, Ryan Richardson.
LAST YEAR: 8-5 overall, 2-2 Mid-Mo. (Returning to EMO this season.) L Eldon 28-36, L California 7-43, L South Callaway 0-28, W Hallsville 30-6, L Tipton 26-50, W Hermann 32-28, W Brentwood 26-21, W Fulton 36-7, W MMA 50-7, W Southern Boone 38-32 OT, W Orchard Farm 54-35, W Southern Boone 24-8, L Osage 21-63.
TOP RETURNERS: Vance Allen LB, Jake Haubner OB, Ryan Pezold OL, Levi Morland WB, Zac Eads OL. Return 19 lettermen overall, 8 on offense and 8 on defense.
TOP NEWCOMERS: David Craghead OL, Alex Whelan DL, Jordan Haden LB.
HONORED PLAYERS BACK: Zac Eads, all-conference/district/state OL; Levi Morland, all-conference/state DE; Jake Haubner, all-conference QB; Kyle Seiling, all-conference DB; Ryan Pezold, all-conference OL.
NUMBERS TO NOTE: Thunderbirds set season passing record with 1,938 yards in 2011. Jacob Haubner set individual passing records with 347/game and 1,817/season.
SENIORS ON ROSTER: Owen Gray WB/DE, Jacob Haubner QB/DB, Kyle Seiling SE/DB, Levi Morland WB/DE, Tyler Hudson SE/DB, Jesse Crane WB/DE, Ryan Thurman SE/DB, Will Vore SE/DB, Vance Allen SE/LB, Jacob Kee RB/LB, Alex Whelan RB/DL, Ryan Tarrants OL/DL, Ryan Pezold OL/LB, Robbie Overstreet OL/DL, David Craighead OL/DL, Zac Eads OL/DL, Jordan Haden OL/LB, Davonte Kyles OL/DL.
JUNIORS ON ROSTER: Anthony Moses WB/DE, Chance Kee SE/DB, Miguel Hudson SE/DB, Justin Menard WB/DE, Kyle Grajeda RB/LB, Aaron Mathews OLDL, Brett Metcalf OL/DL, Trenton Lenzing OL/DL, Brady Smith OL/DL, Bryan Kennon OL/DL, Ryan Byrd OL/DL, Michael Overstreet OL/DL, Scott Loveall SE/DB.
SOPHOMORES ON ROSTER: Eric Ivey QB/DB, Brenden Bradt SE/DE, ZachNitcher WB/DB, Cole Branson QB/DB, Braden Shramek RB/LB, Trevor Crisp RB/LB, Paul Zerr WB/DE, Ralls Easterling OL/DL, Michael Pezold OL/LB, Shelby Rybolt OL/DL, Joe Rybolt WB/LB, Mason Trams SE/DB.
PLUS AND MINUS: Team size is a strength but conditioning must improve.
BASIC OFFENSE: Spread.
BASIC DEFENSE: Multiple sets.
TEAM GOALS: Reaching our potential as athletes, students and citizens.
KEYS TO SUCCESS: Staying healthy.
TEAM OUTLOOK: We return a majority of our starters and hope we can continue to improve from the point when we finished. (Thunderbirds won eight of their last 10 games in 2011, including seven in a row before exiting the playoffs.)
EMO OUTLOOK: Preseason rankings in order (not counting North Callaway) Montgomery County, Bowling Green, Clopton/Elsberry, Van-Far, Wright City.