By Dan Bechtold/Editor
The Colome High School football team has a lot of experience returning from last year’steam.The Cowboys only lost three seniors and have nine returning starters. The three seniors who graduated are Jacob Beckers, Adam Cole and James Brumbaugh.
There are 19 Colome athletes out for football this year.The returning lettermen are: Riley Shippy, Allan McKenzie, Kaden Pechota, Billy Looking Cloud, A. J. Davis, Sully Shippy, Jordyn Harter, Taitin Ringing Shield, Michael Supik, Kash Heath, Nathaniel Hansen, Casey Assman, Rhet Bertram, Gavin Tucker, Brayden Seegers, Tate Luedke and Aidan Muller.
Colome was to have opened the season on Aug. 21 at Corsica/Stickney but that has been changed and they will open a week later on Aug. 28 at home with Tripp Delmont Armour/ACDC.
Michael Supik will be the starting quarterback. Riley Shippy will be the running back with Rhet Bertram and Kash Heath also playing running back. Nathaniel Hansen was moved from guard to center. Athletes working hard on the offensive line are Hansen, Sully Shippy and Allan McKenzie. Head coach Gene Bertram says who will play ends is up in the air with some younger players stepping into that role.
Casey Assman will be one of the ends with three others battling for a spot. On defense, Colome will not change much from last year as the team only lost two starters. Linebackers will be Riley Shippy, Michael Supik and Billy Looking Cloud. Defensive ends will be Assman and Bertram. On the defensive line will be Hansen, McKenzie and Shippy.
Last year the Cowboys ended the season with a 1-7 record. “They are upset about only winning one game last year. They wantto prove they are a good football team,” said Bertram. He noted it was hard to go from an undefeated season and being state champs to a 1-7 season.
Along with every other team in the state, Colome is dealing with COVID-19 and making sure everyone is safe. Bertram says it is tough to social distance in football. He stresses if anyone is feeling sick do not come to practice. He advises the players to take their temperature at home and if they have a fever do not come to practice. Everyone brings their own water bottle. “It has not been hard for them to keep track of their own water bottle,” said the coach. “The kids have really bee good.
I stress to the them that I am not as worried about them getting COVID as I am of you passing it along to other people more vulnerable to the illness. They know they have to protest their older family members,” said Bertram.“What scares me is if we get one outbreak by a team and we may have to all shut down like the colleges,” said Bertram.
The coach says he knows the team is ready for football. There is more experience this year and a lot of senior leadership. The team has been working on a lot of fundamentals. Bertram is excited how much these kids have grown. He has coached some of these kids since they were in junior high school. “It is amazing how their coordination and fundamentals have gotten better. This year we are really working on foot work.” Bertram said last year things did not go the team’s way. “This year if we can put of lot of those things behind us and play football it will be a fun year,” said the coach.
Assistant coaches will be Terrance Kinzer and Chase Hrabanek. Bertram hopes the new principal Dustin Christensen will be able to help with the team. The 2020 Colome football schedule includes:
Aug. 28—Tripp-Delmont/Armour/ACDC inColome
Sept. 4—Platte-Geddes at Platte
Sept. 11—Homecoming– Irene-Wakonda
Sept. 18—Burke, home
Sept. 25—Corsica-Stickney at Corsica
Oct. 2—Hitchcock-Tulare, away
Oct. 9—Wolsey-Wessington at Wolsey
Oct. 16—Conference championship week
Oct. 22—First round of playoffs
Nov. 13—State Championship in Vermillion