Bulldogs eager to test their strength
     2013-08-29      By Philip Eckerberg   
Photo by Doug Harris/Gering Citizen - The 2013 Gering football team members are front row from left, Lyndon Ingram, Adam Blenkinsop, Mitch Martin, Brent Barge, Antonio Murillo, Jacob Pieper, Tristan Perry, Frank Billie, Nolan Nelson, Nic Ferreyra, Alex Salazar; middle row: Deion Contreras, Austin Dolberg, Matt Wolfe, Austin Hoffman, Dillon De Mott, Gage Smith, Joey Godinez, Justin Esparza, Collin Ryan, Jeff Schmidt, Dylan Wetherington, Marquis Manley, Christian Moreno; back row: Elijah Timblin, Gage Winkler, Kaleb Hammack, Brandon Bernhardt, Alex Closson, Ryan Schwartzkopf, Brenden Brester, Justin Brester, Blake Frye, Nate Ferreyra, Danny Palomo Jr., Esai Hernandez, Jacob Walker, Quentin Timblin, Baylen Smith, Blake Rains, Zach Helt. Coaches: Jimmie Rhodes, Rick Kinnaman, Justin Clark, Gene Russel, Dillon Broussard, Gary Smith, Colton Ehler, Saxon Lee, Roger Schmidt, Keaton Green, Bob Anderson, Doug Koob, Trevor Staman, Austin Furguson. 
Despite the recent heat wave there are some sure signs of fall in the area. The days are getting shorter, the leaves on the trees by the river are starting to change, and football season starts tomorrow.

Gering Coach Jimmie Rhodes spoke at the Blue Gold scrimmage last Friday and said “physically we are in the right position to make a move on next Friday.”

The team looked good in the scrimmage as it opened with several kick off practices as a decent crowd watched from the stands. Gage Smith will be the starting kicker for the Bulldogs for both kickoffs and field goals. Smith will also contribute to the squad as a runner, and he even scored a touchdown during the scrimmage.

Dillon DeMott will return for his third year as starting quarterback. DeMott missed a critical game against Sidney last year after suffering a concussion against Scottsbluff. This put Gering in a bad spot as the two backup quarterbacks were also hurt and the Bulldogs had to improvise. This did not work out well for Gering as they suffered a 44-24 loss and gave Sidney their only win of the season.

Rhodes spoke about improvements in the quarterbacks and backups. “We have five quarterbacks right now we are trying to do everything we can to get all of them snaps,” he said. “We had four guys get snaps tonight and we have two freshmen guys it was really positive. We are maturing quarterbacks regularly.”

Is Gering ready for its first game? Rhoades said “I think the mental work is about to happen for us. The physical tools are all there, we just got to put it all together right now and get the rhythm.”

Continuing, Rhodes said “We have to start trusting each other and get to playing together. The defense was swarming out there, it’s always quicker to get the defense ready than the offense, it takes more snaps and more reps. The offense was also clicking tonight.”

The Dawgs first opponent will be the Holdrege Dusters at 6 p.m. tomorrow. Please note that the game starts at 6 p.m. and not the traditional 7 p.m.. Gering has fared well against the Dusters having a 4-1 record against them over the last five games winning 40-20 last year. Holdrege did not fare well last year having a 2-7 record.

Holdrege is no pushover either and they can be dangerous against superior opponents as they hold a 7-2 record against Scottsbluff over the last nine meetings.
In looking forward to the season Rhodes said “I’m excited. Our kids have waited a long time to be seniors, it’s their turn, they believe in each other, and they play well together.” Summing it up, Rhodes said “We just need to put it all together and have some fun.”

The Bulldogs ended last year at 5-4 and just missed a chance at post season play. With many seniors on the squad this year, hopes are high for a successful season. See you at the game on Friday.

Aug. 30, vs. Holdrege – 6 p.m.
Sept. 7, at Chadron – 7 p.m.
Sept. 13 vs. Lexington – 6 p.m.
Sept. 20, at McCook – 7 p.m.
Sept. 27, at Grand Is NW – 6 p.m.
Oct. 4, at Hastings – 7 p.m.
Oct. 11, at Scottsbluff – 7 p.m.
Oct. 18, vs. Sidney – 7 p.m.
Oct. 25, at Alliance – 7 p.m.
Nov. 1, First round of playoffs – TBA

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