Two Bobcats vying for title of BLHS signal caller
Basehor-Linwood's coaching staff for the football team will have several big decisions to make in the first few weeks of practice, but none may be bigger than who will be the starting quarterback for the first game.
Senior Adam Smith is the returning starter, but junior Mike Armstrong has come on strong as a possible candidate to take over a team that went 0-9 last year.
Head coach Paul Brown said both quarterbacks have their individual strengths and whoever is selected will affect how the offense is run.
"They're different styles of player and one's good at one thing while the other's good at something else," he said. "But both of them are very good at what they do well."
Smith brings experience and a height advantage, plus he is more of a pocket quarterback.
"Adam is a better passer," Brown said. "He's taller so he can see over the line a little better and has a strong arm. Plus he has the experience of being the varsity starter."
If Armstrong were named starting quarterback, the running game would be an emphasis for the Bobcat offense.
"Mike is a little more athletic," Brown said. "He'll probably be more of an option quarterback. He's a little shorter, so he can't see over the line quite as well, but he's got a decent arm and is pretty mobile."
Experience may play a big role on who will be the starter next year.
"I think Adam will take a great deal from the experience of being the starting quarterback last year, but Michael got some varsity snaps too," Brown said. "Both of those guys are very good athletes and will play some way or another on the field even if it isn't as quarterback. You would think that the previous season's starter would be able to come back and earn the position back, but we'll see what happens."
Armstrong said while he and Smith were friends, there was a competitive edge between the two.
"Me and him are really good friends -- we're really tight," Armstrong said. "We throw the ball together and talk about the game and try to teach each other things.
"I'd say it was a competitive relationship between us. I don't know what he'd say, but I'd say we're competitors."
Although the competition between the two should help both become better quarterbacks, it also should help the team have confidence no matter who is playing quarterback.
"If the starter goes down, the team can know it can keep going without missing a beat," Brown said. "We may have to change our style depending on who is playing, but it's not going to stop us from what we want to do."
Besides the competition at quarterback, Brown said starting position wars are happening all over the field, especially in the offensive line and in the backfield.
"We have a lot of depth in the line," he said. "We have several guys with experience, so there could potentially be several position battles going in there. And in our backfield, our starting running backs are both gone, and we have several guys that have a little experience, but we'll need to finding a starting back."
Despite the competitive nature, Brown said these relationships benefit the team as a whole.
"Everywhere on the field there's competition for a starting position," he said. "Even if a person doesn't get the starting position, their job is to push the guy in front of him to be the best player he can be, whether it's to be an all-league or all-state player or just the best player he can be."