It is a year of firsts for Goddard, with the addition of Eisenhower to the football mix, and new coach Scott Vang. The Lions are looking to take the program forward after splitting the school district in two.
Coach: Scott Vang (1st year head coach at Goddard, 0-0 record)
2011 Recap: 2-7 overall, 2-4 in the Ark Valley Chisholm Trail League Division II, 0-3 in District.
In 2011, Goddard picked up its first win a month into the season against Valley Center. The Lions beat Andover the next week to take a two-game winning streak into the district round. But the competition in the district was too much for Goddard to be able to continue the momentum.
Returning Starters: Offensive 2, Defensive 2
Returning Lettermen: 8
2012 District: Liberal, Bishop Carroll, at Eisenhower
With the addition of Eisenhower football to the district, the Lions will have some interesting challenges to deal with. With only two returning starters, Goddard will have a somewhat clean slate to work with, which can have its advantages and disadvantages. Having a lack of varsity experience can be a scary situation. But combining it with a new coach will give Goddard’s first-year head man Scott Vang an especially pliable clay to mold.
Quarterback Collin Nevil will be somewhat of an unknown, stepping up to run the Goddard offense in place of graduated senior James Watkins. Last season the Lions had four seniors on the offensive line to drive the offense. This season Goddard will have to have players step into those varsity rolls on the line of scrimmage. Jake Vang figures to lead the new unit on the field, with Austin Chippeaux adding to the mix at tight end.
On top of having Chippeaux to target, Nevil will also have receivers Trey Douglas and Connor Kirby available in the passing game. Douglas caught 27 passes for 278 yards last season, and got one carry for 45 yards on the ground as well.
Goddard will need someone to emerge as a running back, as there is a hole left at the position by Austin White who was a senior last year.
Defensively, the Lions will need to improve from last year. In 2011, Goddard gave up an average of nearly 30 points per game and will look to trim that figure up this year in order to give the Lions a chance to stay in games.
Keeping with the theme of fresh starts, Goddard will field a basically completely different defense personnel wise. But one of the areas of experience the Lions do have is on the defensive line with senior Mason Swann. Swann did see varsity action last year and returns for 2012 a year older and wiser.
Goddard hopes to have strength in the secondary Tucker Vang, Trey Douglass, Dane King, and Chance Brandt provide a talented core of defensive backs that has the potential to be a valuable asset to the Lions. In the middle of the defense, Beau Fischer will be a linebacker to look out for.
Odds and Ends:
Eisenhower is the school in its first year of football existence, but this season presents a new beginning of sorts for Goddard as well. With a new coach, and losing players not only to graduation, but to a new cross-town rival, the Lions have an opportunity to reset and start a new chapter in the already existent history and tradition of Goddard football; an opportunity most teams will never get. It will be up to the players and coaching staff to make the most of this opportunity and provide a positive foundation to build upon throughout the season, and throughout the years.