Bixby, OK-(westernkansasnews.com)-The way the 2012 season ended is not something Garden City High School football players want made into a movie. The memory of former Buff Mitch Moore’s snap landing in Immanuel Galloway’s lap will forever define the unique history of the “Hatchet Game.”
It also serves as a reminder of how close Brian Hill’s team was to returning to the Class 6A playoffs. That was then, this is now.
The 2013 campaign opens with the backdrop of the second largest city in Oklahoma; that’s right a 400-mile trip to kickoff the season against Bixby on Friday night.
“Our kids are ready,” Hill said following the team’s practice on Wednesday. “This is a business trip.”
That’s for sure. In fact-Hill’s message to his players in their post-practice huddle: “Bring one change of clothes gentleman; we’re going to win a football game.”
If anything, the one thing Hill has learned from last year’s game is that focus is everything. Six plays defined the Spartans 42-7 rout of the Buffaloes. Six plays turned a scoreless tie into a Bixby romp.
“We have to be disciplined with what we do,” Hill said. “We can’t bow our heads as soon as they make a play. We have to be in position.”
That message should ring loud and clear to a defense that allowed then Bixby junior quarterback Marshall Ray to throw for nearly 300 yards and five touchdowns. He was like a surgeon-cutting through the Buffaloes’ defense-hitting eight different receivers along the way.
Throw in the fact that the Spartans have already had two-live scrimmages and what do you get?
“We can’t worry about what they’re doing,” Hill said. “All we can control are the things we’ve worked on for the past two weeks-that’s it.”
Garden City (0-0) at Bixby, Ok; 6:30 pregame on KWKR 99.9 FM and https://www.westernkansasnews.com/kwkr/ (Mike Pilosof and Ross Miller)