For 25 years, John Powers said, he’s had his football team’s play sheet dropped off in his office every Thursday ahead of Saturday games.
Now, the first-year Garden City Community College offensive coordinator is in charge of putting together and delivering those play cards to the rest of the offensive coaches.
“It might sound simple, but it’s not,” Powers said this week, as the Broncbusters prepare to open their season at 7 p.m. Saturday against rival Dodge City at Broncbuster Stadium.
Powers is also serving as the Busters’ offensive line coach, and has been the run-game coordinator previously, but never been the one calling plays. It’s just an added wrinkle to his responsibilities as a football coach.
“I always worked to be real detailed up front, and that’s what I’m trying to do here,” Powers said. “That’s what I’m doing as we move towards the game, fine-tuning every single detail and cover every little situation we can face. Football in so many ways is a situational game.”
Helping in every situation will be the Busters’ veteran, talented offensive line, which returns five players from 2017 — tackles LaColby Tucker and Bamidele Olaseni, guards Labrentae Davis and Idris Patterson and center Howard Watkins. They also added Willie Canty in the offseason, a University of Nebraska transfer, a three-star prospect coming out of high school.
Add in perhaps the nations best junior college running back stable — Charles West, Dedrick Mills, Billy Mance and others — and the Busters have a solid foundation for an exceptional offense.
“Everything in football starts at the line of scrimmage and with the running game,” head coach Jeff Sims said. “It gives you a base to do a lot of good things.”
The Busters have been top 20 in rushing yards per game each of the last two seasons, and 2018 does not figure to be any different.
“I’m hoping for us to protect the ball No. 1. That’s the name of the game,” Powers said. “We want to reduce penalties, and possess the ball. That’s what I preach and that’s the message coach Sims sends to our team.”
But the 2017 version of the Buster offense was made dynamic — averaging 379 yards per game — by quarterback Terry Wilson, who was named KJCCC Offensive Player of the Year and is now the starter at the University of Kentucky.
The Busters have not named a starting quarterback going into Saturday’s game, with the QB battle coming down to Nick Bohn and David Moore. Bohn is a freshman who set the national record for completion percentage (79.7 percent, 290 of 364) as a senior at Trinity (Ky.) High School, and Moore is a recent transfer from the University of Memphis.
“They both can really sling the ball, and they’re both really accurate,” Sims said.
Returners Rayvon Bartlett and Tylin Oden are the third and fourth quarterbacks, respectively.
Moore joined the Busters midway through fall camp, but Sims said the addition just added to the competition.
“I think it’s raised everybody’s competitiveness,” he said. “I don’t think any of them pulled back. David’s come in, and he’s very talented and he’s made everybody better.”
The Busters had another late signee in Dominick Watt, a wide receiver who originally signed at the University of Nebraska but was not cleared academically by the NCAA, according to the Omaha World-Herald. Watt is a four-star receiver, according to 247sports.com.