New scheme, new faces, new year produces revamped Buster D
By J. Levi Burnfin
A year after allowing nearly 40 points and 500 yards a game, the defensive side of the Garden City Community College football team is receiving a thorough makeover, starting with competing as a unit and not as individuals. Instead of naming a starting 11, new defensive coordinator Jeff Kelly speaks about his defense as a unit, a combined effort of an entire defensive team.
"They're raising up to the bar," he said.
That bar for this season is set pretty high, even after the subpar 2012 season. Kelly noted creating turnovers as a big objective for the Busters this season.
That fits right into what head coach Matt Miller wants from his team — aggressiveness. He wants an attacking, willing to take chances type of defense. And that works just fine for Kelly.
"Our kids are much more aggressive, a controlled aggression," he said. "Those are the expectations."
Having superbly talented defensive backs will help the defense be more aggressive. Led by corners Tim Hill and Wonderful Terry, and safety Sam Green, all presumptive starters, the Busters' secondary should be one of the best in the conference.
Hill is a freshman from Buford, Ga., where he played for Mountain View High School. Hill graduated in 2012, sat out one season and then signed with Garden City Community College early this year. He posted 64 tackles his senior season.
Terry is a three-star cornerback transfer from Dodge City Community College, where he played his 2012 season. Green, also a three-star prospect, came out of Plant City (Fla.) High School in 2012.
"They provide things that any coach on defense likes," said Kelly about Terry and Hill. "When you have two corners that can come up and hit you and when you ask them to cover, they can cover you, it allows them to play fast."
Up front, the Busters will be switching from the 4-2-5 defense they played last season to a 3-4 defense under Kelly. But Kelly does not see it as too major of a change.
"We're going to have our scheme. We're going to play in our scheme but football is really based on being gap sound," he said. "It always boils down to the same thing anyways."
Headed by sophomore D'Vonta Derricott, a recent Kansas State commit, and freshman Errol Clarke, the linebacker corps looks to be a strong unit. Derricott racked up 55 tackles, a forced fumble and an interception that he returned for a touchdown in eight games last season. Clarke played at Miami Central (Fla.) High School and was a pass-rushing machine, accumulating 20 sacks and 24 tackles for loss his senior season. He originally committed to play for the University of Cincinnati as a three-star linebacker, enrolling early to participate in spring football, before making his way to Garden City this summer.
"I think we're more talented across the board from last year's team," said Kelly.
In fact, only the defensive line may be in question at this point. Even during several practices and scrimmages, the defensive line seem to not be solidified.
It will be soon enough, though, as the Busters host Independence for the season and conference opener at 7 p.m. Saturday at Garden City High School's Buffalo Stadium.