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Football preview: New coordinator brings new energy to defense

Craig Hubbard steps into the high school ranks for the first time

It’s one of the oldest sayings in team sports, but it’s also one of the truest sayings, “defense wins championships.”

Craig Hubbard has taken over as the new defensive coordinator at Yukon after spending all of his coaching career in the college ranks, most recently with Southern Nazarene University.

Hubbard brings a simpler but effect 3-4 defensive scheme that is designed to attack the opponent’s offense and force them into turning the ball over.

“The guys have really bought in,” Hubbard said. “The energy has been great so far. We still have a long way to go as far as being where we want to be but the intensity has been really good.”

Hubbard will have eight returning defensive starters at his convenience in 2016 with senior outside linebacker Daunte McGee being the headline player for the Millers.

McGee was a two-year starter at one of the safety positions but the Yukon coaches felt with McGee’s freak-athleticism and size, his skillset would best be utilized at the outside linebacker position.

The 6-foot-4 225-pound star will be counted on to lead the defense but fellow seniors, safety Ethan Scott, defensive end Colton Duke and outside linebacker Colton Rich will be counted on to help McGee lead the YHS defensive unit this season.

Several other key returning starts to the 2016 version of the Yukon defense are junior cornerback Eddie Jackson and junior inside linebacker Preston Hodge. Senior Brett Gerber will handle the other inside linebacker job for the Millers.

“I think our biggest strength will be our intensity,” Hubbard said. “Our defensive line and linebacker unit will be very strong for us as well. We have some good experience there. We want to be relentless as a defense. Our defensive mantra is ‘put the ball down’. We want to fly around and make plays. That’s the goal of our defense this year.”

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