Herald Leader / Eagle Observer Football Preview

Football Preview 2018

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KANSAS, Okla. — A year of transition transformed into a year of stability for the Kansas (Okla.) Comets football team in 2017. The Comets hope the solid footing can help translate into more success in 2018. A f t e r w i n n i n g just three games in three seasons from 2014 to 2016 under Steve Patterson, the Comets took 2017 by storm and won four of its 10 games and were playing with a postseason berth on the line in Week 10. It wasn't meant to be as Delaware County rival Colcord defeated the Comets 56-12 to advance to the Okla- homa Class 2A playoffs, but progress was made. Head coach Jimmy Dushane coached with an interim tag for the 2017 season after Steve Patterson resigned late in the spring of 2017. He was named permanent head coach in the offseason after guiding the Comets to a 4-6 record. "We feel like we could have just as easily been 6-4 as we were 4-6," Dushane said. "I felt like there were a couple of ballgames we had our chance to win." The Comets dropped a 41-34 loss to Westville early in the year and then let its home game against Salina go from a close game to a 42-21 final. Still, the Comets walked away from the 2017 season feeling like they had made progress. "I feel like we went into the offseason and we had a good offseason," Dushane said. "We've had a player or two that has left (the school) and a couple that have not decided to play this year that could possibly impact us, but we'll go ahead and do what we can do and keep trying to get better each week." Offensively, the Comets will remain a primarily I-formation team that will get into spread looks on occasion. "We'll throw it around out of both formations," said Dushane, who is offen- sive coordinator. "We want to run the football. If we can get the running game going and having some passing yards thrown in there, we'll feel like we have you where we want you." At quarterback, the Comets are look- ing at a pair of sophomores to replace Keelan Davis, who broke his collarbone Week 10 against Colcord and decided to focus on basketball only this year. Sophomore Easton Wiggins (5-11, 160) and William Hall (5-11, 175) have been taking snaps in preseason practice. "Easton just has a great athletic abil- ity," Dushane said. "Both of them will be tough runners. We just think they're the leaders that will be out there and lead us as we need to go." Both Wiggins and Hall saw some snaps for the freshman team last season and played on the varsity in other roles. At running back, senior Daris Glass (5-8, 155) rushed more nearly 900 yards last season before getting hurt in the Colcord game. "He leads by example," Dushane said of Glass. Senior Wyatt Curtis (6-1, 180) and Hall also could see some time at running back. The Comets do utilize a fullback and senior Lucas Vann appears to be the No. 1 candidate to fill the position. "Lucas didn't play last year for us, but he played his freshman and soph- omore year," Dushane said. "With that being said, he comes back and he knows our verbiage and has kind of picked up where he left off." Senior Chance Kolysko (6-0, 175) is likely going to be the Comets' top target at wide receiver along with junior Deaven Noe (5-10, 165). Kolysko had about 15 catches last year. "I think he will have a chance to have a big year," Dushane said. "Deaven Noe worked hard this summer and has a chance to step into a starting role this year and be a good receiver for us also." Senior Blaine Pickup (5-10, 210) and junior Jake Morgan (5-9, 150) could see action at tight end. "Blaine Pickup played last year for us and kind of took it all in and learned," Dushane said. "I think just during camp here he's shown a lot of good progress and promise for a receiving-type tight end." The Comets return three starters on • Quality Aftermarket Automotive Parts • Alternator, Starter & Generator Repair • Hydraulic Hose Assemblies Siloam Springs 479-524-3760 We Support Siloam Springs Panthers! Family Owned and Operated Since 1947 ly Owned ed wn d wned wn ily Ow y Own wned wne ned wne 2018 Football Preview 18 n Wednesday, August 22, 2018 The Herald-Leader/Westside Eagle Observer Blaine Pickup Deaven Noe Lucas Vann William Houston Chance Kolysko Daris Glass Wyatt Curtis Yeng Lee 2018 Kansas Comets Jimmy Dushane Head coach Comets look to build on last season's momentum n Kansas went 4-6 in 2017 after winning three games in the previous three years combined. By Graham Thomas Staff Writer n gthomas@nwadg.com See KANSAS on Page 19

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