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Teets looking forward to challenge at California

| Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, 8:55 p.m.

Bo Teets is not one to back down from a challenge.

And that is exactly what he is facing in his first year as coach at California.

All Teets has to do is install a new system for a team that went 2-7 in 2012, play in arguably the toughest Class A conference in the Black Hills and try to build a team with a minimal amount of players.

“There's no doubt it is a challenge, but we think we are up for it,” said Teets, who came to California after a lengthy career as an assistant at rival Monessen.

“It's a buzz saw of a conference, no doubt. We will be doing things a lot different than they did here before. And our numbers are low. I'm hoping to have 25 players when it all shakes out. But I think we can line up and compete with anyone. The key will be getting the players to believe that.

“My first thought when I came up here was that I was surprised with the talent level. It's not bad.”

On offense, the Trojans return key personnel, including senior running back/quarterback Austin Hunter, senior tailback Cory Adams, junior quarterback/running back Malik Jackson and senior receiver Nate Harris.

Hunter likely will play quarterback, and Adams will be the featured running back with Jackson doing a little of both, as he did last season.

“Up front, it's probably going to be a new look for us than what they had a year ago,” Teets said.

“Offensively, it's about putting who we have in the right positions to give us the best chance to be successful. We're looking for kids who want to work hard and are willing to give the effort.”

On defense, Teets will build around returning senior linebacker Austin Wingo.

“He's a good player and, honestly, he's about all I know with our defense right now,” Teets said. “We will play a different alignment than they are used to, using mostly an odd front. We plan on being aggressive and playing on the other side of the line of scrimmage. We will be preaching putting 11 hats on the ball and forcing turnovers. We are going to attack the offenses we face.”

The Black Hills is loaded, with defending WPIAL and PIAA champion Clairton as well as runner-up Monessen and perennial playoff teams Brentwood and Bishop Canevin.

“There aren't any easy wins in this conference,” Teets said. “It's like a playoff game every Friday night. But our staff is familiar with the conference, and we are excited.”

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