SHELBINA, Mo. -- Brock Wood enjoyed being part of a two-headed monster in the South Shelby football team's backfield the past two seasons.
In that time, he and teammate Cody McKenzie racked up exactly 4,800 yards on the ground and scored 62 touchdowns.
However, McKenzie graduated in the spring, which leaves Wood responsible for shouldering the workload on offense.
"My sophomore year, I had a few carries but it wasn't a lot," Wood said. "I got a few more in my junior year. But this year I'll definitely have the most. That's going to be new and something I have to prepare for."
Wood believes he's ready for it, too.
The senior running back led the Cardinals with 1,667 yards rushing and 20 touchdowns last fall as South Shelby went 6-6 and reached the Class 1 district championship game, where it lost to eventual state champion Monroe City. He averaged 10 yards per carry and 138.9 yards per game.
Wood accomplished that with the help of McKenzie, who was South Shelby's change-of-pace back. McKenzie was primarily used between the tackles, while Wood was better out in space.
McKenzie rushed for 1,177 yards -- he averaged 98.1 per game -- and scored 15 times.
Wood will have to find ways to continue that production without an established complimentary back.
"We'll have to attack in more versatile ways," Wood said. "We can't just hit opponents with one thing. We have to hit them with a variety of things."
To be prepared for that, Wood spent the spring on the track team and qualified for the state championships in four running events. Once the school year ended, he continued running nearly every day. Sometimes he did sprints or intervals, and other times he ran a few miles.
He never had set goals for mileage or a strict running regimen. He was more concerned with being in prime condition.
"I just tried to get a little in all the time," he said. "It doesn't have to be the exact distance every day. Sometimes I will go for a run jog, but there were days when I ran 3 miles."
Wood said he feels in better shape this preseason.
That's what South Shelby coach Rob Wilt needs. Wilt expects to use a shotgun formation more often this fall to better suit the personnel and utilize Wood's speed.
Wood won't be the only back carrying the ball. The Cardinals have only 26 players on the roster, but Wilt likes what junior Daniel Burke adds.
"We think he'll be able to compliment Brock really well this year," Wilt said. "We've got a few other guys we're really confident in like Shaun Wilkerson and Marcus Wiseman. They're good runners, and we'll use them back there."
Wood is confident it'll be another successful season.
"We're all working together," Wood said. "I don't know if we should talk about how many wins we want. We just have to be ready and play four quarters."