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Savannah Looks to New Leadership in 2012

Savannah looks to redeem itself after a disappointing end in the state semifinals.

(SAVANNAH, Mo.) A disappointing end to a great run in 2011 has the Savannah Savages hungry for another shot at the playoffs.

"I think if we don't do that, we'll consider this season a failure," senior quarterback Zane Wilt said.

Zane's twin brother and wide receiver, Tyler, agrees.

"We all want to get back to state, so we'll do just about anything to get there."

Webb City ended Savannah's season in the Missouri Class 4 State Semifinal game with a 28-24 loss.

It was one of the most successful seasons in school history racking up 12 wins.

But now the Savages will try to repeat the success with a new head coach.

After four seasons as Savannah's head coach, Mark Cole stepped down in the off-season.

Now the job belongs to first year head coach Chad Smith.

"I give a lot of credit to these coaches that have helped me out with the transition, and these players especially, who have made my job easy by giving it everything," Smith said. "They show up and give it everything they've got everyday."

Savannah's also replacing five all-state performers, but Smith says the 2012 seniors are ready to fill that void.

"They've been challenged that they need to step up, they've got shoes to fill," Smith said. "There's not a doubt in my mind, the way that they have worked, that they're going to do that as a group."

The team's climb toward the upcoming season began this summer by hitting the weight room.

"Workouts this summer are actually going to be the game changer, because we've been working twice as hard, if not three times as hard, and I think we're all ready to go," Tyler Wilt said.

The Wilt twins are spearheading Savannah's charge. The seniors are prepared to rely on the skills they have been working on for over a decade.

"We've been playing catch in the backyard since we were five," Tyler Wilt said. "And we know where each other are going to be, so it's just like, he throws the ball up and I'm usually there."

"We're going to have to find that other receiver besides Tyler, but knowing that I have my twin brother out there that I've thrown to him since I was three years old, that's probably the most important thing I've got," Zane Wilt said. "I always know where he's going to be, so it's a good feeling. It's comforting."

The Savages hope that connection can carry them past the final hurdle to a state championship this season.
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