GARDEN CITY, Kan. (KSNW) – Garden City’s 26 seniors are familiar with the expectations that come with being on varsity football.
“A lot of our kids that have played and are seniors this year were forced into action at a really early age due to low numbers that we had at the older grades at that time,” said Garden City head football coach Brian Hill.
According to Hill, two of the team’s current seniors even started on varsity during their freshman season, including linebacker Alonso Marquez.
“We’ve gone through a lot of adversity,” said Marquez. “Starting as a freshman on varsity, it’s pretty tough because of the difference between 16 year old strength and 18 year old strength.”
With youth often came inconsistency for the Buffaloes, especially on the offensive front.
“We lost two games by one point last year, and our defense really did play well,” said Hill. “Being able to control the game on offense is something that we’ve been working hard on.”
So far, the team’s hard work has been paying off in practice – led by dominant senior leadership.
“One of the biggest things that we’ve seen is just the comfort level that they’ve had at practice amongst one another and the schemes that we’re doing,” said Hill. “You’ve seen a lot of kids grow from boys into young men, and it’s nice to see that we’re putting varsity-sized guys out in a varsity game.”
Garden City is hoping that the team’s experience will allow them to have a breakout season, an experience the team’s senior core has been waiting for since their freshman year.
“It’s our class against other people who had the advantage on us by seniors,” said senior fullback/linebacker Sergio Garcia. “We’re the top dogs, and we’re ready to bark.”
The Buffaloes open their season at home against the Manhattan Eagles on Sept. 3 at 7 p.m, in which they will look to redeem a one-point loss in last season’s playoffs.