HESSTON — One of the bigger opening night high school football games on Friday will be Garden Plain traveling to Hesston, which will mark the debut of Tyson Bauerle as the Swathers’ head coach.
Bauerle takes over for Clint Rider, who last year led Hesston to a 10-4 record and runner-up finish in Class 3A as the Swathers were edged in overtime by Rossville in the title game.
“Garden Plain is a very tough opponent,” said Bauerle, who came to Hesston from Sterling. “They also return a number of upperclassmen with experience on both sides of the ball. They are extremely physical on film. We'll have to match their physicality up front.”
Bauerle said the transition to a new head coach has been a smooth one for himself and his players.
“We've had a fairly solid two weeks of practice,” he said. “The upperclassmen have done a good job of setting expectations for the younger players to follow. We're looking forward to Friday.”
There are some areas that have especially encouraged Bauerle.
“I'm excited to see what our offensive line can do, returning four starters — three of them getting starting experience last year as sophomores,” he said.
But with any team, there is a hiccup or two.
“In two intrasquad scrimmages, we have not had all 11 on the field on the same page consistently,” he said. “We've had many minor breakdowns from play to play. I would have liked to see us be a little more consistent with getting our jobs done on each play.”