Bailey looks for Mitchell to be up to challenge
     2013-08-29      By Terry Gaston    sports@geringcitizen.com
Photo by Doug Harris/Gering Citizen - The Mitchell Tigers football team members for 2013 are, front from left, Cal Bosse, Wyatt McMillan, Brad Gillen, Brayden Weidaman, Adam Schlotthauer, Marquis Droddy, Daryn Walters, Zac Swanson, Thomas Riley; second row, Andrew Sinner, Vinicius da Silva, Garrett Tinsley, Tristin Robles, Trace Fulk, Peyton Briggs, Draven Thompson, Wyatt Hooten, Chris Jenkins; third row, Nick Harriger, Henry Adams, Brandon Vorse, Justin Senkel, Ephraim Blanco, Kaden Purviance, Bailey Branson, Ethan Einfalt, Noah Hernadez; fourth row, Tyler Soucie, Trenton Strawder, Abe Hernadez, Cody Mueller, Drew Gilliand, Manager: Grant Snyder, Seth Marcoe; back row, Alex Flores, Zach Narvias, Dillon Ewert, Anthony Perez, Manager: Drake Gilliand. Not pictured: Manager: Dawson Refschnieder, Conner Bretthauer, Colby Eberspecher, Garrett Sterkel, head coach Chris Bailey. 
MITCHELL — Third-year Mitchell football coach Chris Bailey has a good group of returning seniors but also a younger group of talented players that he will ask to grow together, and quickly, in order to improve on last season’s 2-6 record.

Mitchell has Friday off and an extra week to prepare for its opener, a tough road game on Sept. 6 against the Gothenburg Swedes.
“We’re going to have to take it game by game and week by week,” Bailey said. “We have a challenging schedule beginning with Gothenburg and Cozad, and we’re really a younger team that has to step up and keep growing.

“We have to be playing our best football week one, because we’re going to be playing one of the best teams.”
Senior all-district selection Adam Schlotthauer gives the Tigers’ backfield its strongest element of experience after he rushed for 12 touchdowns and more than 1,000 yards as a junior. Sophomore Brayden Wiedeman returns with experience at fullback.

“We had a couple kids move in who are helping us in the backfield, our quarterback is coming along pretty good,” Bailey said. “We have a few guys banged up and we have to get back and healed up, and our line has to get better, but every day we’re just getting better.”
Sophomore Drew Jones played safety and cornerback last year and takes the reins at quarterback. Freshmen Adrian Hernandez and Anthony Perez are transfers whom Bailey said look like they can contribute.

Other returnees will help on the interior line and include seniors Nick Harriger and Trey Sterkel, along with juniors Isaac Holbrook and Garrett Sterkel. Other expected contributors includes seniors Bradley Gillen and Andrew Sinner and sophomore Colby Eberspecher.
“I think once the kids understand how good we have to be, I think that we’ll be fine,” Bailey said. “They’ve learned that we’re not going to be complacent.”

After the season opener, Mitchell has Cozad and Bridgeport at home on Sept. 13 and 20.
“As long as they keep getting better, remain coachable and work hard, I think we should have a great season,” Bailey said. “They are agood, hard-working, high-character kids that you can challenge and push, and they accept that.”

Mitchell schedule

Aug. 30 Open
Sept. 6 at Gothenburg, 6:30 p.m.
Sept. 13 Cozad, 6 p.m.
Sept. 20 Bridgeport, 7 p.m.
Sept. 27 at Kimball, 7 p.m.
Oct. 4 Chase County, 6 p.m.
Oct. 11 at Ogallala, 7 p.m.
Oct. 18 Chadron, 7 p.m.
Oct. 25 at Gordon-Rushville, 7 p.m.

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