The Abilene High School football team, coming off a 2009 season that saw it post a 9-2 record and advance to the second round of the playoffs, begins its 2010 season tonight by playing host to Atchison at 7 p.m. at Paul Dennis Field.
Cowboy coach Jeff Geist is not only excited for tonight’s game, but with the players he has on this year’s team he is excited for the season as a whole.
“We have some great experience returning,” Geist said. “I am excited to see them work for success this season.”
Geist has led the Cowboys to the playoffs in the last three years, last year’s playoff victory was Abilene’s first under Geist. The Redmen are coming off a 2009 season which saw them post a 2-7 record and are currently riding a five game losing streak.
The Redmen were led last season by Charlie Schneider, their quarterback, who led the team in rushing and passing. But Schneider graduated last year and the Cowboys will be focused on a new quarterback.
“I believe this is a great first game,” Geist said. “They are expected to be better and we feel we could be pretty good. Ought to be an entertaining Friday night.”
The Cowboys lost their leading rusher in Curry Sexton to graduation, but they still have Cody Whitehair on the offensive and defensive lines, Nick Rice, who played some time at quarterback last year and several other returning starters.
But Geist is not focused on individual achievements. He is more focused on the team aspect of things and what the scoreboard shows at the end of the night.
“We are not looking for individual greatness,” Geist said. “A whole team effort is what we expect and are looking for.”
Following tonight’s contest the Cowboys go on the road for two straight games. Abilene travels to Nickerson next Friday night before starting their 2010 trek through the North Central Kansas League. Abilene begins the NCKL play with a trip to Clay Center. Abilene went undefeated in NCKL play last year and Geist is thinking that could again be possible for the 2010 team.
“There is no reason why we can't shoot for an NCKL and District tItle,” Geist said. “Nothing will be given to us. Every night we must bring our A game.”
Abilene has Chapman, Smoky Valley and Hesston in its district this season.