ANDERSON — Anderson Prep Academy doesn't have the football depth, or experience, other area schools do, and its roster is very much in flux.
And because many of the 22 boys who have come out for the team have not played at this level, if at all, there isn't much of a playbook, so to speak. Things are being kept basic until the coaches feel the players are comfortable with what they've learned.
But that doesn't mean the Jets don't feel they have anything to play for.
"We have a legitimate goal of having our first winning season," APA coach Mike Torgerson said. "We're putting all of our eggs in there to get our first win so we can do something that's never been done here before. It would be big for our kids and our fans."
The best APA record was 4-4 in 2013, the school's first full season. The Jets have won only 11 games since and were 2-8 last year, as they beat Dugger Union and Indiana Deaf before ending with five losses.
Torgerson — who had been a college assistant in his native Minnesota and at North Dakota — wants to instill what he has learned into the APA program. But he is realistic at this point, given the limited abilities of many of the players.
"That's tough," he said. "You take for granted, coming from college coaching, players knowing (things). And these guys don't, and you've got to teach them. You can't be in a hurry to run a bunch of plays if they don't know fundamentals. It's a little frustrating, but we're getting used to it."
To that end, the Jets will keep it simple and operate out of a Double Wing offense and, for the most part, run the ball.
"It's no secret," Torgerson said. "We just try to stick with a few plays and try to perfect them. If I go into into a game with only five plays, so be it."
Behind center will be sophomore Hunter Hoss, who wrestled last year at Daleville, which does not have a football team. Hoss has not played in three years, but Torgerson calls him a "prototypical quarterback for the offense I run."
The projected backfield starters will be even younger than Hoss — freshmen Kentravion Braxton and Kuron Nixon. Senior Quinn Eldridge was counted on to play a wing position, but he is out indefinitely with an injury.
Other two-way players include juniors Justin Lewis and Tim Raper (an "undersized" lineman), as well as sophomore Kevin Bruce and freshman William Johnson, both of whom Torgerson calls "big, strong kids."
"My biggest mistake last year was taking time away from defense to shore up my offense," said the second-year coach. "I'm not doing that this year. I think we're going to be better defensively. We're not big, but I think our speed will be good with the defense we run."
Torgerson was happy with the commitment 16 of the players made this summer as far as conditioning, and several others have since joined the team to give it more depth.
APA opens the season Aug. 23 at Guillaume Stadium against Frontier, which replaces Class 1A powerhouse Monroe Central on the schedule.