|
|
PrattTribune - Pratt, KS
  • T-Birds have reasons for optimism

  • Last year, the Skyline football team went 5-4 to fashion a winning season and gain a measure of redemption from 2012’s disastrous oh-fer campaign.

    This year, 8th year head coach Jon Novotny has every reason to expect even better results out of his Thunderbirds.
    • email print
      Comment
    • Skyline football schedule

      Sept. 5 @ South Barber


      Sept. 12 v. Cunningham


      Sept. 19 @ Pretty Prairie


      Sept. 26 @ Attica


      Oct. 3*v.Macksville(HC)


      Oct. 10* @ K...

      » Read more
      X
      Skyline football schedule

      Sept. 5 @ South Barber



      Sept. 12 v. Cunningham



      Sept. 19 @ Pretty Prairie



      Sept. 26 @ Attica



      Oct. 3*v.Macksville(HC)



      Oct. 10* @ Kiowa Cnty



      Oct. 17* v. South Central



      Oct. 24* v. Kinsley (S)



      Oct. 30* @ St. John



      Nov. 4 — Bi-district



      Nov. 8 — Regional



      Nov. 14 — Sub-state



      Nov. 22 — State



      *District games (HC) Homecoming (S) Senior Night

  • Last year, the Skyline football team went 5-4 to fashion a winning season and gain a measure of redemption from 2012’s disastrous oh-fer campaign.
    This year, 8th year head coach Jon Novotny has every reason to expect even better results out of his Thunderbirds. “I like our chances,” he said. “We are better this year than we were at this time last season.” Novotny’s assistant is Andrew Nation.
    The T-Birds return a large group of seniors, many of whom have been playing or starting since they were freshmen. “Our experience is going to be one of our biggest strengths,” Novotny predicted. “We have a very battle-tested group of seniors. They have been showing tremendous leadership in our summer activities— leading by example, mostly, through hard work.”
    The T-Birds have traditionally been a run-oriented offense, and that should continue to be the case this season for a couple of reasons. First of all, although there weren’t a large number of losses to graduation, the starting QB Cole Patterson and one of his top receivers Brandon Abbott were among them.
    Secondly, the T-Birds top two rushers from last season both return. By the end of last season, elusive RB Dustin Weber and powerful FB Dan Hacker were a backfield tandem that opposing defenses found difficult to stop. The pair piled up yardage seemingly at will late last season, and there’s no reason why this year’s offense shouldn’t revolve around that proven commodity.
    At times, according to Novotny, Blake Lee might take some snaps at QB under center, but the base offense might have more of a shotgun look with Lee at center hiking to Weber/Hacker in the backfield.
    Anchoring the line will be Layton Kenworthy and Landon Lee, both all-district performers last season. “We have nice size and experience up front,” Novotny stated.
    If there is a concern for Coach Novotny, it might be the issue of depth. “Like most schools our size, one injury can really change the make-up of a team,” Novotny explained. “We have some sophomores that have progressed over the summer. We’ll need them to step up so we can spread the workload a little bit. Especially, we’re going to need to be able to spell our bigger guys on the defensive line.”
    Novotny has a couple of candidates to provide depth in the backfield. Tristen Hogan returns to the squad after being out with an injury most of last season. Levi Johnston is an “athletic-type kid” who returns to Skyline after a couple of years away. “He has some catching up to do on the playbook,” Novotny said, “but he should be able to help us out.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Defensively, the top 3 tacklers return: Weber, Hacker and junior Brady McComb. Occasionally last season, the Thunderbirds suffered from giving up big plays at inopportune times. A more consistent effort on defense may be required if Skyline is to have continued success.
    District 6 saw the graduation of an extraordinary number of football talents at the opposing schools. Also, Fairfield drops to Division 2 this year. With those factors in mind, Coach Novotny thinks his T-Birds have the potential to be in the district mix this year. “If we play up to our potential,” he said, “we should be able to be right there in our bid for the district championship.”
    “I expect Kiowa County to be tough again with a lot of size,” Novotny continued. “South Central will be solid again. Those two have to be considered the favorites. But we could have something to say about it if we play like we should.”
    This year’s senior class has been working toward this season for 3 years now. It is hoped that they will be able to lead the way for the Skyline Thunderbirds and make this year something special.
    The T-Birds will open the 2014 campaign at South Barber on Septmeber 5.

        calendar