Great Bend head football coach Erin Beck feels comfortable with his experienced skill players on both sides of the football.
Seven sophomores will make their varsity football debut against Coffeyville-Field Kindley in Friday’s home opener at Memorial Stadium. The biggest trick is concentrating on the next play and ignoring any distractions.
“Our seniors have helped those younger players and advised them about adjusting to the varsity level,” said Beck. “I will play our best football players. It’s a testament to our coaching staff that they’re getting sophomores ready for varsity football. What helps is our freshmen work with our varsity players every day in practice.”
Beck said he’s seen day-by-day progress, but grades are passed out Friday night and Saturdays during film session.
“You typically don’t perform as well, as poorly as you feel on Friday night,” he said. “You want to work on getting better as a football team.”
Panther quarterback Jacob Murray threw for 1,703 yards, rushed for 772 yards and accounted for 31 scores. The offense averaged 31 ppg and 327 yards for a 7-3 playoff qualifier.
Wide receivers Bryce Lytle (1,049, 8 TDs) and Brayden Smith (194, 4 TDs) and tailback Cal Marshall (678 yards) return. Tackles Noah Presson (6-5, 270) and Aaaron Clark (6-6, 275) anchor the line.
“Jacob’s greatest attribute is his feet and his ability to make plays,” Beck said.
Coffeyville was 0-9 in 2015, just two years after the Golden Tornado was Class 4A-Division state runner-up. Coffeyville coach Darrin Wenger coached at Jay, Okla. Wide receiver Kameron Wilson (6-4, 200) and quarterback C.J. Kelley will lead the Golden Tornadoes.
“Typically, it’s a program that features a lot of team speed,” Beck said.
7 QB—Jacob Murray SR
9 WR—Brayden Smith SR
11 RB—Cal Marshall SR
59 LG—Trevor Fehr JR
76 LT—Aaron Clark JR
71 C—Kaden Schroeder SO
62 RG—Payton Doll SO
78 RT—Noah Presson SR
12 WR—Koy Brack SO
20 WR—Bryce Lytle SR
28 WR—Cory Burnham SR
14 NG—Dominique Rideaux SR
55 DE—Eric Vazquez SO
56 DE—Pablo Martinez SO
27 OLB—Mason YellowWolf SR
36 OLB—Braulio Vargas SR
10 WLB—Jensen Randall SR
32 SLB—Payton Mauler SR
18 MLB—Brock Blessing SO/34 Blake Penka SO
3 CB—Corbin Widiger SO
15 CB—Nick Reed SR
11 FS—Cal Marshall SR