Wichita, KS – An excited buzz filled the air upon entering Riverfront Stadium. Representatives from the Jayhawk Conference, including commissioners, coaches, and members of all seven football programs filled in with football season less than a month away.
The Kansas Jayhawk Conference hosted the 2023 Media Day in Wichita on Friday. The Wichita Storm Surge hosted for the second consecutive season, and featured new Jayhawk Conference Commissioner, Mike Sadder, and veteran Iowa Community College Athletic Conference Commissioner, Thom McDonald.
Garden City is coming off a 4-6 finish in 2022, winning four-of-seven to close the season after an 0-3 slump to open the season. It was the Broncbusters’ worst finish under fifth-year head coach Tom Minnick, who plans to make this season different.
“Four and six is not Garden City football,” Minnick said. “That was the first losing season I’ve ever had, I guarantee it won’t happen again.”
The Broncbusters returned three offensive players and six defensive guys from 2022. Minnick was excited to highlight running back James Jones, who flashed in spurts for GCCC last season.
“I compare him to Damien [Williams],” Minnick said. “He rushed for 100-plus yards in every game that he started… he’s a good running back with a high standard.”
Minnick led the charge amongst JUCO coaches in the transfer portal this month. GCCC landed numerous power five transfers and was ranked as the number one transfer class by Athlete Linked.
The numbers, according to Minnick, haven’t lied.
“Bryce Butler had 31 tackles and five and a half sacks,” Minnick said. “Defensively, we’re pretty stoked.
The Broncbusters landed Texas A&M wide receiver Demond Demas, Arizona tight end Alex Lines, Vanderbilt linebacker Daniel Martin, and Baylor defensive lineman Bryce Butler, to name a few. Minnick feels Garden City’s roster is loaded all around.
“Coach [Chenelle] Jones said, ‘Coach, at Arizona Western’, we always had great teams. We have to get back to that.” Minnick said. “Well, that’s the case this year. We’ll see you when the time comes.”
The conferences also released their 2023 preseason polls, as voted on by the coaches in the respective conferences.
1. Hutchinson Blue Dragons (11-1 in 2022)
2. Coffeyville Red Ravens (8-3 in 2022)
3. Butler Grizzlies (8-4 in 2022)
4. Garden City Broncbusters (4-6 in 2022)
5. Independence Pirates (4-5 in 2022)
6. Dodge City Conquistadors (3-7 in 2022)
7. Highland Scotties (2-8 in 2022)
1. Iowa Western Reivers (10-2 in 2022)
2. Iowa Central Tritons (7-4 in 2022)
3. Ellsworth Panthers (0-10 in 2022)
Three of the four teams from the KJCCC-ICCAC Alliance made it to the national playoffs last season, with Iowa Western upsetting Hutchinson in the NJCAA National Championship, 31-0, last December.
The Broncbusters open the 2023 football season against the Butler Grizzlies on August 24th at Broncbuster Stadium.