Garden City’s district is changing and so is their offense.
Coach: Brian Hill (12-8 entering his third year coaching at school, 12-8 overall)
2011 Recap: 7-3 overall, 3-1 league
Returning Starters: Offense 5, Defense 4
Returning Letterman: 26
2012 Outlook: -
Skilled skills-position players are hard to come by. The Buffaloes will take huge hits on offense this season after losing some valuable skill players last year. Head Coach Brian Hill is taking the offseason to find a replacement for first-team All WAC quarterback Jake Curran.
“The battle will be between senior Denton Keller and junior Greyson Tempel,” Hill said.
One of these quarterbacks will be expected to take over in Hill’s pro-style offense; the offense Curran thrived in. However, they will be working with a new set of skills players. The Buffs will lose their top three running backs as well as their top two wide receivers, including first-team All WAC wide receiver Gerardo Holgein.
“Finding their replacements is top priority,” Hill said. “We do return three starting offensive lineman and our tight end, so we will be relying on them early in the season until the skill guys gain some experience.”
The Buffs' inexperienced offense will rely on their star-studded defense to be impenetrable. The Buffs are returning a good nucleus of players in their linebackers and secondary, including first-team All-WAC linebacker Brady Bean (senior).
The line of scrimmage is where the Buffs will have to rebuild. They have to replace three of the four starters on the defensive line. Lone returner, defensive end Andres Rivas, will have to lead and anchor his young teammates.
“The defense played very well last season and we will be looking for another strong performance this year,” Hill said. “We will be looking to use our strength of speed and quickness on the defense.”
Odds and Ends:
Hill said Garden City’s schedule will be tougher with the addition of Bixby, Okla. and Hutchinson now in their district. The Salthawks will come off their 2011 5A state championship and move up to a 6A district schedule. The two new additions will add a new element to the Buffs’ schedule, but Hill understands that the Western Athletic Conference will also be a challenge.
“We also have the always tough schedule within the WAC too, so week in and week out is going to be a battle,” Hill said.
In addition to Hutchinson, Garden City also has Maize at home, and Dodge City on the road in their district.