Basehor-Linwood ready to battle Santa Fe Trail in season-opener
After numerous scrimmages, two-a-day practices and a summer of weightlifting, camps and team activities, the Basehor-Linwood football team gets to test it all out at 7 p.m. Friday at Santa Fe Trail.
Ask coach Steve Hopkins about the Chargers, however, and he isn’t really sure how to answer.
The team is a mystery to him.
“They have 14 players who did not play last year who are juniors and seniors,” he said. “Those are players that we will not see on film from last year. When we exchanged the final game types, those kids were not there the previous year. It’ll be a mystery the first game, but whoever they play on the field we still have to line up and play.”
The first week of the season is always a mystery regardless of the opponent, Hopkins said.
It is difficult to determine what changes a team has made from a year ago. Game films from last season that coaches have spent weeks deciphering can be outdated depending on what changes an opponent has implemented.
Personnel groupings can also change.
To put it simply, scouting reports aren’t very valuable when preparing for the first game of the season.
“Week one is always a grab bag,” Hopkins said. “They have more (players) out than they had last year by far. They had a tough year last year.”
With a relatively new opponent, Hopkins said Basehor-Linwood is focused on shoring up the fundamentals and taking care of itself.
“In the first game, special teams play a greater role than any other time,” he said.
He said it would be pivotal for his players to be solid on their assignments on special teams and for them to know where to line up. Executing on special teams could go a long way toward winning the game.
He also expects to get a push from his defense early in the game. Playing sound defense early in the game will be pivotal for the Bobcats while the offense finds its rhythm.
Santa Fe Trail finished 0-9 last season. Basehor-Linwood defeated them 23-7 in the season-opener. In that game, quarterback Brandon Leppke completed eight-of-11 passes for 128 yards and two touchdowns.