Fall 2013 Football Preview - page 8

THE GARDEN CITY TELEGRAM
8
THURSDAY, September 5, 2013
707 E. Kansas Plaza • Garden City, KS
620-276-3381
Drs. Hoch, Williams, Gerstberger & Nguyen
Garden City
225784t
We proudly
support our
area teams!
By KEVIN THOMPSON
Jason Kenny got his 100th win with Ulysses late
in 2012. In 13 seasons, he has compiled a 107-40 win-
loss record.
Now starting his 14th season with the Tigers,
nobody will be surprised by any new-look changes.
Why tamper with success?
Ulysses finished 6-4 last season, losing in the first
round of the playoffs. It’s a team that returns a great
deal of experience.
Six starters on defense return, as do four on offense,
with senior Chase Rudzik the only dual starter.
Rudzik, a 5-11, 225-pound guard, will also start at
inside linebacker. He was the team’s leading tackler
last season.
On offense, he is
joined by 6-1, 245-
pound senior A.J.
Erives at tackle
and fellow senior
Nathan Medina,
a 6-3, 200-pound
tight end.
The
fourth
returning starter
on offense is soph-
o -
more Ian Rudzik, a 6-2, 220-
pound
running back, whose numbers as a freshman were
impressive--165 carries for 1187 yards and 15 touch-
downs.
And that was after missing a number of quarters
with some leg issues.
Returning on defense along with the older Rudzik
are fellow seniors Otto Orosco (5-11, 210) at tackle,
Riley Seger (5-10, 190) at outside linebacker and
Avery Nichols (5-10, 170) at defensive back.
Joining them will be Hector Torres, a 5-9, 205-
pound junior at tackle.
Ian Rudzik was all-league at running back, while
Chase Rudzik made first team linebacker and Jorge
Mendez at kicker.
Having a solid core of players returning will
be key as the 4A Tigers compete in the Great West
Activities Conference.
“We will be physical and we have some kids who
have good speed on defense,” Kenney said. “Our
defense is definitely ahead of our offense as we
begin the season.”
Kenney added that the Tigers will work on build-
ing depth in the offensive line as the season pro-
gresses.
“We need to get some games under our new start-
ers to get them varsity experience,” he explained.
New starters include at the quarterback position,
where Kenny said the Tigers will be using two play-
ers, replacing the graduated Alec Meierhoff.
Senior GarrettWalters and junior Tregg Rodriguez
will be rotating into that position, at least early.
“We’re planning to use both against Liberal (to
open the season) and we’ll see how it goes from
there,” Kenny said.
With Ian Rudzik in the backfield, the Tigers will
continue the team tradition of being a running team,
but Kenny said the pass is always a part of the
Ulysses offense.
“We still want to be somewhat balanced. We’ve
always been more of a running team since I’ve been
head coach, but we want to throw some, too,” he said.
———
ULYSSES TIGERS
League: Great West Activities Conference
Class: 4A, District 14
Coach: Jason Kenny, 14th year
Sept. 6—
LIBERAL
Sept. 13—
at Great Bend
Sept. 20—
at Colby
Sept. 27—
SCOTT CITY
Oct. 4—
GOODLAND
Oct. 11—
at Holcomb
Oct. 18—
at Larned*
Oct. 25—
PRATT*
Oct. 31—
at Hugoton*
*—
Denotes District Game
——
2012 Results
Record: 6-4
Aug. 31—
at Liberal, W 43-27
Sept. 7—
GREAT BEND, L 28-22
Sept. 14—
COLBY, W 24-0
Sept. 21—
at Scott City, L 49-13
Sept. 28—
at Goodland, W 48-13
Oct. 5—
HOLCOMB, L 35-25
Oct. 12—
LARNED*, W 73-0
Oct. 19—
at Pratt*, W 36-14
Oct. 25—
Hugoton*, W 26-0
Oct. 30—
BUHLER**, L 28-7
*—
Indicates District Game
**—
Indicates Playoff Game
Kenny likes returners for Ulysses
Jayhawks’ Heeney
becomes defense’s leader
LAWRENCE (AP) — Last sea-
son was filled with unfamiliar-
ity for Kansas linebacker Ben
Heeney.
On the one hand, he earned
significant playing time on
defense for the first time since his
junior year at Hutchinson (Kan.)
High School. On the other, he
experienced losing.
A lot of losing.
“I’ve won three games since
I’ve been at KU, and I won 45 or
so at Hutch,” said Heeney, now
a junior and one of the leaders
of the Jayhawks’ defense. “The
culture at Hutch was to win state.
That was the only thing that any-
one was focused on. If we didn’t
win state it was an unsuccessful
year.”
Heeney was part of three state
champion teams in high school,
but has yet to win a Big 12 game
in Lawrence. The Jayhawks,
who open the season Saturday
night against South Dakota,
haven’t won a conference came
since November 2010 — against
Colorado, now a member of the
Pac-12.
While the Jayhawks trudged to
a 1-11 finish in Charlie Weis’ first
season as coach, Heeney was one
of the rare bright spots. He made
112 tackles and led the team with
12 tackles for loss, and was voted
second-team All-Big 12 by The
Associated Press for his efforts.
Still, it took a while for Heeney
to feel like he had a role on the
Jayhawks.
At Hutchinson, Heeney was an
all-state running back, scamper-
ing for more than 2,000 yards his
senior year. On defense, he played
strong safety. So when he arrived
at Kansas as a freshman, Heeney
thought he would get a healthy
dose of playing time at one of
See KU, Page 22
Proud Supporters of the
217403
Ulysses
Tigers!
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