PERKINS — A coordinator change doesn’t always mean a change in the system.

Kevin Miner is entering his first season as Perkins-Tryon’s defensive coordinator, and he said the modifications will be minimal this year.

“We’re just looking at things we can do week-to-week and not have to change our defense a lot,” Miner said. “With our experienced line and our front seven, people are going to try to go around us a lot, so we’re going to find ways to deal with that issue.”

Miner, who coached defensive ends and offensive backs at P-T last year, was moved up to DC earlier this summer when Lance Hoggatt accepted the offensive coordinator position at Cushing High. Hoggatt was later promoted to head coach when former Tiger boss Mike Wayland became the new principal at Bristow.

“I’m definitely having to spend a lot more time thinking and planning,” Miner said. “It’s been very enjoyable though, and a lot of that goes to the kids we have out there.”

Senior linebacker Michael Culie added, “(Miner) has pretty much kept us on the same track Coach Hoggatt had us on. It makes things a lot easier when you’re not having to learn a new system.”

The Demons have several defensive weapons returning this year including Culie, who recorded 109 tackles — the team’s second-best total behind Andrew Pool’s 128. Also coming back is senior lineman Cread Helton, who posted 36 stops, a fumble recovery and a sack in 2006.

“We’ve been known for our defense in the past,” Helton said. “We’re pretty much running the same defensive schemes and I think we’re going to be even stronger (this year).”

Phillip Fryman, Amnon Gosney, Connor Hughes and Aaron Barta are also expected to contribute heavily on the defensive line. Defensively, depth seems to be the least of Miner’s concern.

“We’ve got a lot of competition in nearly every spot,” he said. “Believe it or not, we lost every person in the secondary last year, but the young guys coming in are very, very talented so we feel like we’re going to be fine.”

P-T head coach Lloyd Wertman added, “Coach Miner has been doing a great job. Not much has changed but he’s added a few kinks and tweeks.”

Another change on the Demon staff is new quarterbacks and secondary coach Russell Longbrake, who has 14 seasons of coaching experience but took the last two years off.

“We’re going to be able to run multiple coverages, disguise our looks and eliminate some of the big plays,” Longbrake said. “We’ve gotten to where we’re able to cover somebody quite a bit better and not be so intent on watching what’s going on in the backfield. They’ve made great strides to improve.”

“It’s not really different — we have some people at new positions and it’s just a matter of learning them,” said junior Dakotah Turner, who is making the transition from strong safety to cornerback. “We’ve got some young guys who are doing a good job and if they keep it up, we’re going to be alright.”

At 6:30 p.m. tonight, the Demons will scrimmage Mounds at home. P-T was originally scheduled to go on the road, but because of a sewer leak on Mounds’ field, the location was switched to McIlvain Field.

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