A sneak peek of the 2017 McPherson High School football team will be available on Wednesday morning when the Bullpups hold a scrimmage with Garden City High School.
The scrimmage should start approximately 9 a.m. at McPherson Stadium.
The Bullpups, under third-year head coach Jace Pavlovich, started team camp on Monday.
“We had a great first day of camp,” Pavlovich said. “I was really impressed with how much of our schemes that the kids retained. There is no doubt we have some incredible team speed. We are a little light on the offensive and defensive line, but the kids we have up there are tough and quick.”
Garden City, a traditional 6A power, will give the Bullpups an idea where they’re at.
“We will have our hands full against Garden City on Wednesday as they will be huge upfront, but we need to work against the best to get better,” Pavlovich said.
The Bullpups lost their first two games of last season to Buhler and Maize South, then reeled off eight wins in a row before losing again to Maize South in the second round of the Class 4A Division I playoffs.
The Bullpups’ strength initially is expected to be on the defensive side as most of the starting unit returns.
Last year’s offense, however, was senior dominated. Casen Hoover was a two-year starter at quarterback and the entire starting offensive line consisted of seniors (Jared Ruth, Britton Bate, Clayton Gerbrandt, Dylan Baldwin and Raine Reitsma). Top receivers Jack Reifschneider and Jeff Reed also picked up their diplomas.
Drew Labertew is expected to succeed Hoover, with Kyler Hoppes as his backup. The strength of the offense is definitely at running back, which will be enhanced by the return of Austen Hunt, who missed all of last year with a knee injury after being MHS’ No. 2 rusher his sophomore year.
After Wednesday, the Bullpups head out to Hays for the Fort Hays State team camp.
“At Fort Hays we will see Bishop Carroll, Great Bend, Enid (Oklahoma), Brighton (Colorado), Rose Hill, Mulvane, Hays, Norton and a few others from Colorado,” Pavlovich said. “We are going to stay simple defensively and offensively to find out who our hitters are. I can't wait to see our kids compete.”
MHS opens the season Sept. 1 at Buhler.