There is a point Greg Slade gets to, when the questions start flying, and the company line kicks in.
Same for his players. Same for the other coaches.
Ask anyone at Campus about how in the world a school that has been so, so bad at football can turn things around and you’ll get it, too.
“We don’t talk about the past,” said Slade, who came to the Colts in January after 15 seasons at Rose Hill. “We talk about getting better. How do we improve? How do we do things better in the classroom, at home and on the football field?”
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And that’s where it all begins for Slade, who won a Class 4A championship at Rose Hill in 2011 and finished second in 2004. Forget about finishing 1-8 the last two seasons. Forget about no winning seasons since 2006. Slade began laying the groundwork for this season in the winter, coming to visit with players every couple of weeks and attending basketball games.
“I just wanted them to see my face, to get to know me,” Slade said. “And the kids have put in the work this summer ... they’ve been the ones who have promoted our program the most. We’re getting kids to come out that normally wouldn’t consider it. I feel settled in at this point.”
The Colts have a solid nucleus back, including junior quarterback John Becker, who tore his anterior cruciate ligament early last season but excelled in rehab and was back to full strength by January. Becker has a pair of offensive weapons back in second-team AV-CTL I wide receiver Gabe Chavez (420 receiving yards, five touchdowns) and running back Kaiden Ivy (605 rushing yards, two touchdowns).
Campus might also have a difference maker on the defense in 6-foot-3, 265-pound senior defensive tackle Zane Vickers.
“(Slade) runs a tight ship,” Becker said. “And it’s been a great experience, because he expects so much out of us, meaning 100 percent on every single play. He’s actually making people think about the future instead of the past.”
Coach: Greg Slade, first season
League: AV-CTL Division I
Last season: 1-8
Last five seasons: 8-37
Projected 2013 playoff team? No
Top skill players
|Sept. 6||at Andover|
|Sept. 20||at Newton|
|Sept. 27||Salina South|
|Oct. 11||at Maize|
|Oct. 18||at Northwest|
|Oct. 25||W. South|
|Nov. 1||North (at Heights)|
John Becker on his team
What Campus does well: “I think our offense this year is what’s come around the most, we’re so much faster and quicker and better with execution. (Slade) makes sure every man is doing their job and giving 100 percent on each play.”
What Campus has to improve: “Winning. Our season goal is .500 and we want to make the playoffs.”