Another key is obviously the Rams’ defense. Can the linebackers flourish without last year’s leading tackler? Will a new set of defensive linemen tie up blockers to free up the linebackers? These and other questions will be sorted out in the first month of the season.
When you talk about circling dates on a calender I feel the date circled the most is Sept. 27 – the day of arguably six man football’s greatest rivalry, Gordon vs. Strawn.
This year the game is at Strawn. Several story lines involve both these fine teams, both of which reached the state semifinals last year (Gordon is in Division I bracket while Strawn is in Division II bracket).
Man, talk about story lines. Let’s start with Gordon. Like Mineral Wells four years ago, a native son is coning back home to coach the ‘Horns.
Former Longhorn Joe Kostiha returns not only home, but back to his roots in football, the six man game.
In talking to Kostiha this summer I could sense pride and excitement from the former Alvarado defensive coordinator who is enjoying his first gig as a head coach.
It will be interesting to see how the ‘Horns respond to their new coach. The community seems to be pleased with the new hire, and I see another long playoff run for the ‘Horns.
The story line for Strawn is simple: The ‘Hounds are loaded. Strawn opens the year with one of the most exciting players in our area, Coletyn King, staying at home to play for the ‘Hounds. King had played at Gordon last year because his step father,Shane Mallory, was head coach before resigning to go into private business.
But even without King, Strawn was still loaded as all-state players Harrison Nowak and Ross Alison return. Coach Dewayne Lee may have a problem – since he can only use six players at a time there will be some talented players on the sideline.
But the coach knows how to use his personnel, and that “problem” really is an asset as the ‘Hounds will be fresh when they start what should be a long playoff run, and a possible state semifinal rematch with Richland Springs.