Nunley carries load for Woodcreek

Young receivers part of Timberwolves attack
By: Kurt Johnson, The Press Tribune
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Although a significant portion of its lineup is new this season, it is a familiar face that will get the most attention when the Woodcreek High football team hits the field. Running back James Nunley is back for his fourth varsity campaign, and he will carry a big load for the Timberwolves. “I like to say we have a good mix on offense, but then you look up and James has 295 carries,” said Woodcreek coach John Hildebrand. “We will deliver a heavy dose of James mixed with some effective passing.” Woodcreek made its first postseason appearance a year ago, and the team is looking to make a habit of playing those extra contests. Hildebrand believes it is important for his players to learn how to practice and play to the level of expectations established a year ago. “We’re still a sleeper type of team,” Hildebrand said. “No one is jumping up and screaming about Woodcreek. We don’t mind that. The coaches in this area are too good, and you have to prove you can do it again.” Nunley is key to the team’s success, but the guys up front also make a big difference for the Timberwolves. Hildebrand returns both of his offensive guards, Sean Boyle and Sam Klein, to lead the way for Nunley and protect his quarterback. The job of replacing Tommy Murphy at quarterback falls on the shoulders of Matt Mazzuca. The senior sat out his junior year to focus on basketball, but returned to earn the starting job for Woodcreek this season. Mazzuca will throw the ball to a whole new group of receivers, including Derrick Kimball, Dylan Zuverink and tight end Brandon Whitebear. “We don’t have one 6-foot-5 guy that we just throw it up to,” Mazzuca said. “We have some smaller, quick receivers who run good routes. We will spread the ball around.” Nick Layton and Adam Womack lead a strong group of linebackers, and Brook Dyckhoff, Jeremiah Coulter and Cameron Stettner anchor the new-look defensive line. “We like our team a lot,” Hildebrand said. “We have a lot of returning juniors that played and experienced a playoff run. We also have the most accomplished group of juniors in terms of lower level success that have been through the school.” The Timberwolves open at home at 7:30 p.m. Friday against Casa Roble. “It’s going to be a tough opening week,” Hildebrand said. “Casa has something going like they have at Granite Bay. They have lost a lot of players, but they just keep reloading.” FYI: Woodcreek Timberwolves 2008 record: 6-6 (lost to Grant in second round of playoffs) Key player – Senior running back James Nunley - 295 carries, 1,595 yards, 15 TD in 2008 This week: 7:30 p.m. Friday vs. Casa Roble