The Campus Colts are coming off one of their better seasons in recent history, instead of building on it, they may have to start from scratch.
Sep, 14, 2018; Haysville, Kansas, USA; during an AVCTL matchup betwen the Campus Colts v the Maize Eagles ©Kelly Ross
Everything around this Colts team is new, including head coach Jamie Cruce. Cruce enters the job following the program rebuild courtesy of Greg Slade who retired following last season. Cruce is no stranger of creating strong programs either coming from Pratt who was inches away from a state title last season.
Cruce says the change has been welcoming, calling the opportunity at Campus a challenge he is excited to take on.
"Coach Slade did a great job with the program, raised it to heights that it hadn't seen in a long time and it is time for these kids to see that they can still continue to make these gains. It was just another chance for a challenge," Cruce said.
Leaving Pratt wasn't an easy task, Cruce says he could have stayed in that role forever, but adds Campus is already starting to feel like home, something he credits his players for.
"They've responded really well, you never know how it is going to be when you first come in. You meet the kids in an assembly sort of thing but then you get into summer workouts and they have done exactly what we have asked them to do," he said.
Entering the season, there are still some unknowns around the Colts on both sides of the ball. Cruce says they do plan to implement a lot of the same schemes from Pratt, primarily into the scoring attack.
"We are going to be a run football team. We will have some power run game, we will definitely have some option and that will work into our play action, we'll have some sprint out and drop back," Cruce said. It should be a physical brand of football with the ability to read some guys and then take advantage when teams start to creep up into our run game."
The Campus Colts open the season September 6 against Dodge City.