Gering football rebuilding on experience, depth
     2014-08-28      By Kay Grote    editor@geringcitizen.com
Photo by Anthony Brathwaite/Gering Citizen: Gering Bulldogs Football 2014 - Row 1 Left to Right The Gering 2014 football team is, front row from left, Dalton Scott, Alex Closson, Justin Esparza, Esai Hernandez, Antonio Murrillo, Jared Lathrop, Riley Grote, Austin Hoffman, Alex Salazar, Deion Contreras, Matt Wolfe, Joey Godinez, Quinten Timblin. Second row from left, Alex Duncan, Dylan Radzymski, Jeff Schmidt, Austin Abbott, Danny Palomo Jr., Mike Hackett, Dan Marshall, Jacob Pieper, Brenden Brester, Nolan Nelson, Zach Marsh.Third row from left, Chris Palomo, Jimmy Piaz, Brett Doughty, Seth DeBoer, Trent Rahmig, Skylar Mueller, Chris Bartow, Brent Barge, Austin Dolberg, Mitch Martin, Zach Helt, Brian Castrejon. Fourth row from left, Luciano Palomo, Jacob Schmidt, Nate Fahrenbrook, Miguel Reyes, Carmelo Ozuna, Payton Wick, Neimiah Palomo, Nick Watkins, Frank Billie, Quintin Onstott, Ricardo Hernandez. Fifth row from left, Connor Twogood, Jacob Rocheleau, Brandon Jurado, Keagan Wurdeman, Alberto, Quintana, Braydent Tarr, Enrique Saenz, Marc Aguilar, Tyler Pszanka, Cody Ybarra, Wade Blue, Connor Grant. Back row, Kenny Witcofski, Trevor Satur, Jeff Evans, and Julian Corona. 
This year may be termed a rebuilding year for the Gering varsity football program, but fourth year head Coach Jimmie Rhodes knows that with the talent, depth, and determination shown in the early weeks of this season, rebuilding will reap future rewards for the Bulldogs.
Rhodes said the outlook for the 2014 season is actually quite bright despite losing a large senior class that he credits for helping turn the football program around.

Tapping into the leadership provided by last year’s 15 seniors, Rhodes’ coaching crew was able to build depth with a number of younger players who are now leading the team as seniors and experienced juniors. They first aim to improve on last year’s record of 2-7.
“Graduation hit us hard at every position, but we have a number of capable players that are a year older and experienced at those positions,” Rhodes said.

The Bulldogs have seven starters back from last year. On the offensive side junior Austin Hoffman (6-2/146) will lead the passing game at quarterback while seniors Joey Godinez (5-11/165 RB/LB), Quentin Timblin (6-3/165 WR/LB), and junior Brent Barge (5-8/136 WR/LB) will lead the running and receiving game. Rhodes will look to his big seniors Danny Palomo Jr. (6-3/305 OL/DL), Alex Closson (6-3/300 OL/DL), and Esai Hernandez (6-2/183 WR/DL) to defend.
“With a returner at quarterback (Hoffman) and many receivers that saw varsity time last year, we feel that we’ll surprise a few defenses in what we can do,” Rhodes said.

Rhodes noted his squad’s explosive offense, and a passing game that is developing well. He said the Bulldogs will continue working on a defensive game that shuts down the opponents’ running game.

Other returning letter winners contributing to that end are seniors Deion Contreras (5-11/144 RB/LB), Matt Wolfe (6-2/146 WR/DB), Justin Esparza (6-0/178 OL/DL), Jeff Schmidt (5-9/153 RB/DL) and juniors Brenden Brester (6-3/210 OL/DL), Mitch Martin (5-7/133 WR/DB), Alex Salazar (6-0/200 WR/DL), Zach Helt (6-3/263 OL/DL), Frank Billie (5-10/185 OL/DL), Jacob Pieper (6-2/145 WR/DB), and Antonio Murillo (5-11/140 WR/DB).

Top newcomers to the Bulldog program include Austin Abbott, Chris Bartow, Brett Doughty, Riley Grote, Mike Hackett, Jared Lathrop, Zach Marsh, Dan Marshall, Skylar Mueller, Luciano Montenez, Chris Palomo, Jimmy Piaz, Dylan Radzymski, Trent Rahmig, and Dalton Scott.
Joining Rhodes on the coaching line are varsity assistant coaches Justin Clark, Jon Hutchison, and Zach Boness. Rhodes is also encouraged by this year’s improved game schedule which will not include two consecutive weeks of long distance bus riding as in years past.

Gering opens its season this Friday at Hastings before traveling to Chadron. Their first home game will be Sept. 12 against Lexington at Gering’s Memorial Field at 7 p.m.

Gering Bulldogs Schedule
Friday, Aug. 29 at Hastings - 7 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 5 at Chadron – 7 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 12 Home vs. Lexington – 7 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 19 at Grand Island Northwest – 6 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 26 Home vs. Adams Central – 7 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 3 at McCook – 7 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 10 Home vs. Alliance – 7 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 17 at Scottsbluff – 7 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 24 Home vs. Sidney – 7 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 31 State TBA

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