It’s year two for Robert E. Lee coach Darrell Piske and his Red Raider football team.
And everyone wants to forget about year one.
Lee went 1-9 and was outscored 357-137.
The work to improve, and make year two different, began Monday at the Lee High School practice fields. Lee will have spring practice sessions in the afternoons leading up to its annual Red-White Spring Game, scheduled for 6 p.m. May 23 at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.
Piske said this year’s spring workouts will go a little smoother because everyone is familiar with each other.
“We’ll have some banging days and once a week we’ll have a scrimmage day where we will do game situations. Every day, really, we’ll have some kind of game situation,” Piske said. “Time-wise it will be a little shorter because we won’t have to cross over.
“Last year everybody did offense and defense because we didn’t really know the guys. This year we’ve got our offense and defense, and at the end (of practices) we’ll have our crossover time for guys we plan to use on both sides.”
The two biggest questions on offense for Piske and Co. entering spring practices: Who is going to be the starting quarterback? How do you replace all of the running backs who are graduating?
Raleigh Poster completed 52 of 108 passes last year for 602 yards and a touchdown with six interceptions, while Christian Diosdado was 14 of 27 for 97 yards and two interceptions.
Piske said neither are assured of being the starter and a competition between Poster, Diosdado, Trevor Carr and Zach Hall commenced Monday.
“I can tell you whoever it’s going to be is going to be a dual threat. We are going to the spread; we don’t have a tight end and we’re doubles, triples with one back and 90 percent (shotgun),” Piske said.
Carr quarterbacked the junior varsity last year to a 5-5 record and 3-2 in district. He threw a touchdown pass with under a minute remaining in the game to defeat Lufkin JV.
Hall was the Lee Freshman Red quarterback, who led his team to a 6-3-1 record and a district championship.
“It’s going to be a competition and I don’t care what grade they’re in. If they can lead us down the field and score and lead the offense, then they are going to be the quarterback,” Piske said. “Whoever is the best is going to win the job.”
The Red Raiders lost all of their tailbacks to graduation, but returning receiver Bryce Wilkerson rushed for 209 yards out of the wildcat. Wilkerson (14 catches for 216 yards, 2 TDs) is one of the three receivers who will be back, but Piske understands he has a hole to fill in the backfield.
“We are going to be really young, but we’ve got some potential,” Piske said. “Bryce is going to run the ball a little and we also have Marquiston Williams and Diondre Allen out there,” Piske said. “We’d like to have a deep threat. But the good news is if we get good enough running the ball out of (our offense) we will be able to get deep.”