By Michael Buhler
There will be a new team in eight-man football this fall in south central Kansas. However, the faces should be familiar.
Dwindling numbers forced Argonia and Attica to consolidate their respective football teams into one for the 2013 season. The new team is known as the A&A Titans and features the black of Attica’s Bulldogs and the red of Argonia’s Raiders.
The schools also will feature two head coaches, as Argonia coach Luke Greenwood and Attica coach Lance Vandeveer will share head coaching duties. Greenwood will handle the offensive duties, while Vandeveer will handle the defensive side of the game. However, each coach will help out the other on both sides of the ball.
“Argonia and Attica decided to consolidate strictly due to numbers,” Greenwood said. “Both programs have had trouble fielding teams the last few years. The consolidation will allow the students of both schools the opportunity to play a full schedule which wouldn’t have been the case otherwise.”
While the two schools plan to split practice time between Argonia and Attica, the players practiced the first two weeks at Attica since Argonia did not start school until Tuesday. The teams currently are practicing at Argonia for two weeks to return the favor.
“Once that is done, we plan to practice a couple of days here and a couple of days there,”
Greenwood said. “The practice schedule is pretty simple. We have about 10 minutes of warm-ups, then 20 minutes for special teams, 45 minutes for offensive work, and 45 minutes for defensive work.”
Greenwood envisions the Titans running out of multiple sets on offense, but expects to lean heavily on a version of the pistol and single wing on offense. On defense, look for A&A to base out of a 3-4-1.
Greenwood believes that the trio of Alec McDaniel, Devon Newberry and Garrett Wells should make for a quick backfield, while he expects Jack Deviney, Doss Grigsby, Andrew Mages and Jerry Swart to split time at the tight end and wide receiver positions. Greenwood also envisions Matt Harsh, Dylan Prescott, Austin Tracy, and Rayden Nemechek seeing time on the line.
One drawback to the merger is that the Titans will not be playoff-eligible in 2013. However, the squad will get to fight for a playoff spot in 2014 when new district alignments take effect.
“This year will be an important step moving forward as we prepare to make the transition to Division I next year,” Greenwood said. “This will be a good opportunity for us to try and come together, get the kinks worked out and get the fine tuning done.”
A&A opens the season at Argonia on Friday when it hosts Udall. The Titans will host games at Argonia on Oct. 4 (Hope) and Oct. 25 (Caldwell), while Attica will be the host site on Sept. 27 (Cunningham) and Oct. 11 (Stafford).