Heidelberg football preview capsule
Head coach: Larry Daffin
Last year’s record: 3-3, missed playoffs.
Key games: Sept. 15 at Patch, Sept. 21 at Filton, Oct. 13 vs. Wiesbaden.
Inexperience is the theme of the final edition of the Heidelberg Lions, winners of 10 playoff championships who can trace their gridiron heritage back to the 1940s. Heidelberg, which is scheduled for closure in June, graduated four 2011 DODDS-Europe all-stars last June.
“… (O)nly one senior is returning,” second-year Heidelberg coach Daffin emailed. “We will be a very young team.”
So young, in fact, that Daffin, after Week 1 of practice, had no clear idea of who his key performers would be this season.
“We will try to run the ball more,” wrote Daffin, who added that he’ll again use a spread offense and a 5-2 defense.
Don’t get the impression that the soon-to-be dismantled cupboard is entirely bare, however. While the Lions are unlikely to break their D-I-leading tie with Ramstein at 10 playoff titles, they’ll still have teeth.
“I have a lot of young talent,” Daffin wrote, “but they are untested.”
Heidelberg, which plays its home games at Patrick Henry Village, opens its final season with three games on the road, the first at 2011 playoff participant Patch on Sept. 15. As its young talent matures, the Lions close the regular season with home games against defending D-I champion Wiesbaden and 2012 favorite Vilseck on Oct. 13 and 20, respectively.
Sept. 15: at Patch
Sept. 21: at Kaiserslautern
Sept. 29: at Filton
Oct. 6: Lakenheath
Oct. 13: Wiesbaden
Oct. 20: Vilseck