By BRETT MARSHALL
Friday at 7 p.m. at Buffalo Stadium, the Garden City High School football team will conduct its annual Brown and White Scrimmage.
That is, weather permitting.
In his three years as head coach for the Buffs, Brian Hill has managed to only see his team complete one scrimmage. Twice, Mother Nature has intervened with rain and lightning, forcing cancellation of the event.
"We just hope we get a break on the weather (forecast is for warm, sunny conditions)," Hill said as the Buffs near the end of their second week of preparations for their Sept. 6 season opener at Bixby, Okla. "The kids are running around well, and we're further along than any of the previous three seasons."
Hill said the Buffs would simulate as much as possible game conditions, with officials, clock and will do special teams without live hitting.
"No matter how much conditioning you do, you can't simulate game situations in practice, so we'll make it as close to game conditions as possible," Hill said.
The Buffs are coming off a 5-4 record and just missed the Class 6A state playoffs for the first time in his three years at the helm.
"We've got a quarterback who is in his second year starting and that's the first time we've done that since I've been here," Hill said of senior Greyson Tempel, who accounted for nearly 2,000 yards of offense for the Buffs his junior season. "We're trying to get the offense to the point where he can get it in the hands of others and that he doesn't have to be the sole threat we have. There's a comfort level of having an experienced quarterback because he's now been under the lights. The game has slowed down for him."
Hill said the Buffs would not be an overall physical or big team, but that it had more athleticism than any of his three previous teams (5-4 in 2010, 7-3 in 2011).
"I think that will allow us to do some things that we typically haven't been able to do," Hill said.
The Lady Buffs volleyball team will begin its fall season with two home quadrangulars, one on Tuesday when Newton and Salina Central come to town.
New coach Shanda Sanders will see her team take on Newton's Lady Railers in the 4 p.m. opener at The New Garden while Newton faces Central in the 5 o'clock match. The Lady Buffs and Central close out the night's action with a scheduled 6 p.m. match.
On Sept. 5, the Lady Buffs will once again host a quadrangular. Those matches also will start at 4 p.m. with WAC foes Great Bend and Liberal coming to town.
The Buffaloes' boys soccer team, coming off a 15-3-0 record in 2012 and a Western Athletic Conference title in hand, will hit the road on Monday for a 1 p.m. game against Maize High in the opening round of the Wichita Titan Classic at South High School.
A win by the Buffs will put them into the semifinals at 6 p.m. on Sept. 5 against the winner of the Great Bend-Wichita Kapaun-Mt. Carmel game. A loss sends the Buffs into the consolation bracket for a 4 p.m. the same day against the loser of the Great Bend-Kapaun game.
In the other side of the bracket, it is Derby taking on Wichita East at 9 a.m. and Salina Central meeting Wichita Northwest at 11 a.m. The tournament concludes on Sept. 7 with consolation and championship games being played from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Second-year coach Melinda Base takes the Lady Buffs golfers to Hays on Tuesday for their 1 p.m. opening tournament.
The tournament will be played at Smoky Hill Country Club.
The Lady Buffs will be led by senior Abbi Shaddix, who placed sixth individually in the Class 6A state tournament in 2012. She helped the team to a fifth-place finish.
Garden City has won the WAC championship in each of the four previous seasons and Shaddix was the WAC Player of the Year, winning three of the five league meets.
The Buffaloes' boys and girls cross country teams will open their 2013 campaigns on Sept. 5 at Great Bend. The meet will begin at 4 p.m.
The Lady Buffs are the defending WAC champions and were runner-up in the Class 6A state meet.
Coach Krista Linenberger returns five of the six runners off that squad, including seniors Alex Miller, Kayla Doll, Neysa Harman and Maria Rodriguez. Junior Katy Doll is the other returner. Miller placed second individually at the state meet in 2012.
On the boys side, Linenberger will have an entirely new team as the top 10 runners graduated.
Veteran coach Rod Robinson's squad will not begin its varsity season until Sept. 14 when it competes in the Great Bend Invitational.
Junior Claire Schmidt and senior Jannette Martinez are the top returners for the Lady Buffs as they both qualified for the 2012 Class 6A state tournament. Schmidt qualified in singles while Martinez teamed with Kaylee Keller in doubles.
The GCHS girls invitational will be played on Sept. 16 with the tourney getting under way at 9 a.m. at the GCHS tennis complex.