GANS (KFSM)–At larger schools, there are normally two answers to the question “how many returning starters do you have,” an offensive and defensive answer. At Gans, those are consolidated.
“We return five,” says coach Nick Gard. “We’re a very small team and usually our eight go both ways.”
Even with that chunk returning, there's still some changes coming, says Gard.
"We graduated a lot of our line, so what we're trying to do is spread the field out. We're still a running team, but we're going to try to run a bunch of quick passes and screens, get the ball out to the perimeter."
That's a departure from last season, when Gans concentrated on running behind a big offensive line. This Grizzly squad know they can't always compete based on size alone. So they play to other strengths.
"Gotta be quick, says senior Ruger Collins. "If you don't have size you have to have speed."
"We're not a big team, so our strength is going to be speed," adds Gard. "We're just trying to work to our strengths."
A lack of a zero week game will help Gans improve even more on these strengths says Gard.
"It makes a big difference, especially in 8-man football. We don't see a lot of kids during the summer, so the extra week of practice over the other teams makes a world of difference."
And senior quarterback David Holmes thinks they have something else going for them.
"We're not the biggest team out there, but we've got the heart for it."