WENATCHEE — There’s plenty of fresh material for the Wenatchee Panther football team to digest this offseason.
Offensively, the Panthers plan to unleash an up-tempo attack with a bevy of four wide receiver sets. Defensively, it will be their second season running a 3-5-5 formation, which coach Scott Devereaux refers to as “the stack.”
Perfecting the revamped packages has been an on-going process dating back to spring, but Devereaux has a markedly different agenda for his squad at the Wenatchee Football Team Camp, which wraps up Thursday morning: Keep it simple.
The 10th-year coach stressed the importance of focus, intensity and hammered fundamentals like alignment and stance to his players in a brief huddle Tuesday afternoon after a day full of scrimmages.
That could make all the difference, especially early in the season, Devereaux said.
“If we can eliminate those mistakes for the first game of the year, you usually win,” he said.
Wenatchee’s used the last few days of scrimmage to harp on discipline. The camp — which has seven teams in attendance, including cross-river rival Eastmont — gives the host school an opportunity to line up against a variety of formations in a short amount of time without any scouting or preparation.
Devereaux said he’s seen a steady improvement in his team’s technique as the camp’s progressed. From a mental standpoint, he wants to see his players make the most of the camp, which is the final offseason event before a three-week off period beginning early August. But that’s not always easy to do.
“There’s always that day where you hit that wall and you have to get up and get through it,” he said.
From a personnel standpoint, there have been a few shake-ups for the Panthers. Devereaux made a handful of changes, like putting rising junior Trey Adams on the defensive side of the line and shifting Ross Martin from tight end to the offensive line.
Wenatchee also got a pleasant surprise in the return of Zach Larsen, a rangey wideout who returned to the team after missing the 2013 season.
“He’s having a great year,” Devereaux said.
That should help the team transition to a spread system, which will require a number of playmakers at the wideout position. Devereaux said he has between six and seven receivers who could contribute in that area.
The Panthers have a number of proven playmakers and returning starters on their depth chart. While they have plenty figured out at this juncture in the offseason, this week’s camp will help shore up some deficiencies and hopefully set the framework for a disciplined, cohesive unit.
“I’ve been pretty pleased with our execution,” he said. “It’s nice that we have 90 percent of our offense and 90 percent of our defense in. … We don’t have much to add. It’s just execute, execute.”