Collegiate was three points away from moving into the second round of the 4A playoffs last year, but a 26-point fourth quarter from Mulvane sank the Spartans. Collegiate will have to do some work to get back to the playoffs.
Coach: Mike Gehrer (141-38 in 17 years at Collegiate)
2013 Recap: 6-4 Overall, 3-0 District
2014 District: Bluestem, Independent, Douglass
The loss of quarterback Landon Root hurts, but it won’t devastate the Spartans. If there’s one thing we know, it’s that head coach Mike Gehrer always finds to make it work.
Ahmed Alshamary and Kyler Ehm are back for their senior seasons to anchor the offensive line, but that’s almost the extent of the team’s returning players. Running back Seth Carder, lineman Mitch Copeland and wide receiver Austin Waddell are all gone.
Collegiate will have to depend on youth to step and score points. The Spartans notched exactly 400 points in 2013, good for 40 points per game. In their final four games, Collegiate scored 49 points in each of its district games and then put up 45 in a loss to Mulvane.
This unit did enough in 2013 to stay in close games, but couldn’t keep teams out to win those close games. Collegiate started 2013 with two straight losses to Andale and Buhler by a total of nine points.
The offense put up more than its fair share of points, but the defense struggled to keep points off the board. It gave up a total of 225 points in 2013, good for 22.5 points per game. If Collegiate wants to get back to state-championship caliber, this is one aspect that will need to be cleaned up.
ODDS AND ENDS:
Collegiate dropped down to 3A for the 2014 season, but every game on its non-district schedule is in 4A. The Spartans start the year with a home game against Rose Hill, a team that was in their district last year. Collegiate could have its hands full with the Rockets.
Week two is against Circle then the Spartans travel to Andale, which is always a good game. The Indians won it in 2013 30-28 so Collegiate will be looking for some revenge.
To make things a little easier for Collegiate is the fact that Buhler is not on the schedule. It’s non-district should prepare the Spartans adequately for its final three games against Bluestem, Independent and Douglass.