Bearcats look for solid teamwork to continue success
     2013-08-29      By Terry Gaston    sports@geringcitizen.com
Photo by Sheila Weber/for the Citizen - Members of the Scottsbluff football team include, from left: Front row – Trevor Garcia, Andrew Gonzales, Matthew Holloway, Clay Clark, Nate Larrieux, Lorenzo Anaya, Cooper Buchhammer, Shane Smith, Austin Clarkson, Trevor Garcia, Esaeah Ingram, Tracton Halley, Nate Urdiales, Rashawn Weimer, Brad Johnston, Dylan Lucius and Noah Bauer. Middle row – Ty Benson, Jackson Hinze, Tristan Donelson, Matthew Mickey, Rob Cantril, _Jordan Salazar, Sergio Godina, Denzel Salazar, Stetson Anderson, Andy Van Amburg, _John Harms, Levi Shope, Sabian Harsh, Christian Miller, Bruno Flores and Christian Eubanks. Back row: Montel Carbral, James Carbral, Isaiah Gonzalez, Kyle Kuxhausen, Beau Lofink, Tyler Wolf, Andrew Aratani, Cody Rossman, Daniel Rohrer, Jacob Delzer, Ruben FLores, Aaron McConnell, Cam Presher, Ray Cerda, Mario Soriano, Cody Darley, Blake Willis, Mike Kuxhausen and Clay Clark. 
SCOTTSBLUFF — Just because a run of three consecutive District B-8 championships, capped by a 9-0 regular season last year, may end after a wealth of talented players have graduated from Scottsbluff High School, don't count out the Bearcats in 2013.
While Scottsbluff might not carry the multiple big-name players -- with seven moving on to play athletics at the college level -- it has been blessed to have the past three seasons, Bearcat coach Joe Benson said this year's team is developing its own identity by working together.

"I think we have a chance to be a decent football team as we've been in a while," Benson said. "I don't know if we have the superstar like we had last year, but it's going to be a fun, fun group. I've really enjoyed these guys."

Benson said the Bearcats' scrimmage Friday night exposed both strengths in the younger players but also some weaknesses for which he and the Scottsbluff assistants need to improve.

"I thought it exposed some weaknesses, but more that we haven't coached very well," Benson said. "The kids are giving great effort, but we need to do a better job of teaching them what we want. I thought the effort was really good."

The Bearcats will have some returning strength in the middle, especially on defense. Senior linebacker Beau Lofink, the Bearcats' only returning member of the 2012 all-district team, was Scottsbluff’s second-leading tackler last year with 54 solo and 53 assisted tackles with four for losses.

Lofink has returning mates in Jake Delzer at linebacker, and senior linemen Andrew Aratani and Cody Rossman.
"I don't really want to point anybody out," Benson said of other players. "It's just been a really good overall team effort so far."
Many of the Bearcats' usual tough slate of Class B opponents will be back on the schedule this year, starting Friday night with a trip to Lexington. Scottsbluff then entertains McCook at Bearcat Stadium on Sept. 6.

"We all want to be in all these games, and our expectations are to win games, just like everyone else's," Benson said. "These kids are excited to get going. We're not putting any other faces on them."
District B-8 play begins with Scottsbluff hosting Twin Cities archrival Gering on Oct. 11. The Bearcats will then have Alliance, also at home.

A fourth consecutive playoff berth for the Bearcats could be on the line when they travel to Sidney on Oct. 25 for the district and regular-season finale.

Benson said he sees the Red Raiders as the team to beat in District B-8, but Alliance and Gering could have something to say about that in the three weeks of district play.
"Everybody's really high on Sidney, myself included, and you can put the other three teams in a hopper," Benson said. "I think we all have talent; it's just going to be who brings things together the quickest."

Scottsbluff schedule

Aug. 30 at Lexington, 7 p.m.
Sept. 6 McCook, 7 p.m.
Sept. 13 at Holdrege, 6 p.m.
Sept. 20 Hastings, 6 p.m.
Sept, 27 Aurora, 6 p.m.
Oct. 4 at Grand Island Northwest, 6 p.m.
Oct. 11 Gering, 7 p.m.
Oct. 18 Alliance, 7 p.m.
Oct. 25 at Sidney, 7 p.m.

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