In Year 2 of his first stint as Parkview Christian football coach in 2007, Larry Frost’s Patriots rolled to a 6-0 start en route to the best season in school history.
This is Year 2 of the veteran coach’s second go-round, and it appears a similar scenario is setting up. With most of the Patriots’ key players returning from last year’s Class D-2 playoff qualifying team that went 4-5, goals such as a district title and a deeper run into the playoffs seem more attainable than lofty.
“We’ll do better because we’re all a year older,” said quarterback/safety Jaret Polivka, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound senior who rushed for 463 yards and passed for 529 a year ago.
“We’d like to do some things this year our school has never done. We haven’t won a state playoff game, and we’d like to get through a couple rounds and play some games in November.”
Polivka will have a stronger, more durable Nathan Davenport at running back to provide the tough yards. The 5-10, 185-pound junior is 15 pounds heavier than a year ago, when he rushed for 510 yards and led the team in tackles from his linebacker spot.
Davenport’s goal in the weight room during the offseason was to strike the right balance between size and speed.
“I put on more weight, but I haven’t lost any quickness,” Davenport said. “I needed more size and strength to be able to handle the wear and tear of the game better and not slow down when you get bruised and beat up.”
Polivka is one of four senior lettermen back, joining twin brothers Jason and Scott Royal (6-1, 160), who play a variety of positions, and lineman Josh Mertens (6-1, 205). Frost expects the Patriots to be physical up front with Mertens returning, as well as junior lineman Chris Hurley (5-11, 220) and junior fullback/linebacker Jeff Riesenberg (6-2, 190).
Polivka says an improved Parkview passing game should keep teams from keying too much on Davenport in the backfield. One of his targets will be another junior letterwinner Dan Nagoyi (6-1, 160), who’s also a hard-hitting defensive back.
“The core of the team has been together since eighth grade and it shows on how well we execute as a team both offensively and defensively,” Davenport said.
Frost was asked by the Parkview administration to take over the football team three days before the first game last season after an unexpected coaching shakeup left the Patriots in a bind. Frost has his wife, Carol, as one of his assistants and his longtime friend and former Lincoln High head coach Harold Simpson as the other.
“We have a lot of team speed and depth, those are two things I feel good about,” said Larry Frost, who has 21 players out this fall. “But we’re still like any other eight-man team, we have to stay healthy. If we do, we have a chance to be pretty good.”