Fall 2013 Football Preview - page 5

THE GARDEN CITY TELEGRAM
5
THURSDAY, September 5, 2013
HOLCOMB RECREATION
106 WILEY • HOLCOMB
620-277-2152
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Holcomb
Longhorns
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By KEVIN THOMPSON
The last thing Holcomb coach
Jerry Johnson wanted to do at the
close of last fall was say goodbye
to a class of quality seniors who
took the Longhorns to a 9-3 sea-
son.
The likes of Tyler LaSalle, Clay
Gilbert, Aaron Hernandez, Shane
Bennett and Max Ramsey may
have moved on, but the 2013 ver-
sion of Longhorn football looks to
be in pretty good hands.
Heath Tucker, Corey Roth and
Blake Richmeier started on both
sides of the ball last year, and
Johnson said that trio needs to
be the nucleus of his team if the
Longhorns, 44 players strong, are
to compete at a high level.
Tucker, who was a favorite
target of LaSalle last year down
the field, spent the final part of
the season on the sideline with a
hip injury, but the 6-3,180-pound
senior recovered and won the
Class 3A 300-meter hurdles at the
state track meet.
Now Tucker, who will contin-
ue to play safety on defense, will
apply his speed skills to the quar-
terback position, where he will be
a threat to run at any time.
LaSalle passed for 16 touch-
downs and ran for 14 in amassing
nearly 2,700 yards of offense last
year.
Roth, a 5-9, 175-pound senior,
will fill the running back spot
as well as play the corner on
defense.
Richmeier will also serve dou-
ble duty. The 6-1 junior will use
his 215 pounds to play fullback, as
well as play an inside linebacker
spot.
“We’re coming along really
well,” Johnson said of the offen-
sive and defensive lines that
Holcomb will have to count on to
be contenders. “The nice thing
about it is we have a ton of guys
that are competing for the jobs.
As far as having to learn the
plays, when there’s competition
involved, they can do it a bit bet-
ter.”
Johnson, who is 48-22 in seven
years at the Holcomb helm, knows
his squad is not as experienced as
in previous years, but he likes the
Longhorn tradition.
“Our biggest strength will be
the depth of the athletes that we
have at the receiver and running
back positions,” he said. “We have
a ton of guys fighting for posi-
tions right now. Overall, I think
we have a ton of team speed.”
Johnson is also realistic when
he looks at the team’s most ques-
tionable area.
“We lost our entire offensive
line last year,” he said. “But
they’re pushing each other to get
better.”
Johnson thinks his team has
more depth this year than they’ve
ever had with that inner competi-
tion, but the experience behind
those players remains a question.
Scott City, last year’s 3A state
champion, and Ulysses will be
the best Longhorn opponent in
conference play, while Meade, the
defending Class 2A state cham-
pion, will be tough to open against
on the road, Johnson said.
Holcomb won that opener last
year 28-27, Meade’s only loss of
the season. With a second-week
road game at Hugoton, the ‘Horns
won’t play at home until Sept. 20
against Scott City.
HOLCOMB LONGHORNS
League:
Great
West
Activities
Conference
Class: 3A, District 16
Coach: Jerry Johnson, 8th year
Sept. 6—
at Meade
Sept. 13—
at Hugoton
Sept. 20—
SCOTT CITY
Sept. 27—
at Goodland
Oct. 4—
COLBY
Oct. 11—
ULYSSES
Oct. 18—
SW HEIGHTS*
Oct. 25—
at Lakin*
Oct. 31—
at Cimarron*
*—
Denotes District Game
——
2012 Results
Record: 9-2
Aug. 31—
MEADE, W 28-27
Sept. 7—
HUGOTON, W 49-26
Sept. 14—
at Scott City, L 21-7
Sept. 21—
GOODLAND, W 28-0
Sept. 28—
at Colby, W 31-3
Oct. 5—
at Ulysses, W 35-25
Oct. 12—
at SW Heights*, W 48-14
Oct. 19—
LAKIN*, W 34-17
Oct. 25—
CIMARRON*, W 34-14
Oct. 30—
HOISINGTON**, W 28-7
Nov. 3—
at Beloit**, L 60-8
*—
Indicates District Game
**—
Indicates Playoff Game
Longhorns return speed, must rebuild both lines
Brad Nading/Telegram
Holcomb’s Blake Richmeier, right, breaks into the Lakin secondary for a 20-yard gain off a block by Clay
Gilbert, center, last season at Holcomb.
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