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TMP settles for split -4/18/2014, 10:23 AM

Shields strikes out 12 as Royals complete sweep -4/18/2014, 10:23 AM

Indian swimmers seventh in Salina -4/18/2014, 10:23 AM

HHS softball splits with Salina South -4/18/2014, 10:23 AM

HHS baseball swept at Salina South -4/18/2014, 10:23 AM

Final home games for Tigers -4/18/2014, 10:14 AM

Tiger softball No. 8 in first region rankings -4/18/2014, 10:13 AM

Indian track competes at Valley Center -4/18/2014, 10:13 AM

Hayes is KSU's next big 'Cat -4/17/2014, 10:44 AM

New group for Plainville track -4/17/2014, 10:16 AM

Otis track team deals with injuries, illness -4/17/2014, 10:16 AM

Jets land former Titan Chris Johnson -4/17/2014, 10:16 AM

HDN Area Track & Field honor roll, April 17 -4/17/2014, 10:16 AM

Freeman winds up with N.Y. Giants -4/17/2014, 10:16 AM

Tigers win on grand slam -4/17/2014, 10:16 AM

Weber gets extension at K-State -4/17/2014, 10:15 AM

HHS' Weigel becomes a Cowboy -4/17/2014, 10:15 AM

Humburg jumping well for Ness City -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Doubles team rolls at HHS Invitational -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

HHS soccer improves to 6-2, beats Great Bend -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Prep golf results, April 15 -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Tiger tennis ends MIAA season in loss -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Tiger golfers ninth in St. Charles, Mo. -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Track results, Redmen Relays, April 15 -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP boys win at Ellsworth -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP softball sweeps Ellis -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP soccer suffers loss at Garden City -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP boys' golf third at Goodland -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP baseball rolls past Ellis -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

HHS baseball splits with Junction City -4/15/2014, 9:53 AM

TMP softball swept at Colby -4/15/2014, 10:10 AM

TMP golf begins season today -4/15/2014, 10:09 AM

HHS soccer rallies for victory -4/15/2014, 10:09 AM

Rare time off for Tiger softball -4/15/2014, 10:09 AM

KSU, WSU Barnstormers coming to Hays -4/15/2014, 10:09 AM

Watson wins Masters -4/14/2014, 10:08 AM

Royals swept by Twins -4/14/2014, 10:07 AM

Harvick wins at Darlington -4/13/2014, 6:51 AM

Royals ace James Shields struggles in loss to Twins -4/13/2014, 6:42 AM

K-State's Deante Burton feels ready to take his game up a notch -4/13/2014, 6:39 AM

Former Jayhawks address football team about facing struggles -4/13/2014, 6:39 AM

HHS basketball camp May 27 to 29 -4/13/2014, 6:32 AM

Tigers’ Wolf second at K.T. Woodman -4/13/2014, 6:32 AM

FHSU tennis drops pair of MIAA outings -4/13/2014, 6:31 AM

FHSU softball 3-1 in weekend -4/13/2014, 6:31 AM

Tiger offense shines in Spring Game -4/13/2014, 6:31 AM

Tiger baseball 1-3 in series -4/13/2014, 6:30 AM

Mattheyer jumps onto scene at Ellis -4/13/2014, 6:30 AM

HHS golf finishes second in Garden City -4/13/2014, 6:32 AM

HHS pitcher, catcher share chemistry -4/13/2014, 7:56 AM

HHS relay team wins Elite -4/12/2014, 6:37 PM

Sports Scores

Tuesday

Prep basketball

Boys

Atwood 76, St. Francis 65

Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

Hillsboro 50, Goodland 47

Lakeside 42, Lincoln 32

Minneapolis 68, Russell 35

Rock Hills 42, Natoma 37

Salina Central 62, Andover 58

Salina South 62, Sacred Heart 47

Sharon Springs 75, Leoti 38

St. John's Beloit-Tipton 57, Osborne 34

Sylvan-Lucas 61, Thunder Ridge 48

Girls

Dighton 44, Atwood 11

Dodge City 71, Hays High 28

Hesston 51, Goodland 18

Hoisington 60, Victoria 46

Hoxie 65, St. Francis 13

Lincoln 33, Lakeside 26

Minneapolis 47, Otis-Bison 24

Osborne 59, Wilson 34

Sharon Springs 63, Oberlin 42

Sylvan-Lucas 43, Natoma 41 (ot)

Tescott 41, Rock Hills 33

Trego 56, Leoti 27

Thunder Ridge 33, St. John's Beloit-Tipton 30

Click To View All


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SPOTLIGHT
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Football 2012: Otis-Bison light on returning starters

Published on -8/30/2012, 10:32 AM

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By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

Travis Starr is entering his eight year as Otis-Bison High School head football coach. In his first four seasons, the Cougars won just 12 games. In the last three falls, Otis-Bison is the only area team to win at least 10 games each year. The Cougars are 31-4 in that span, including a 2010 Eight-Man, Division II state runner-up finish and a sub-state championship game appearance last fall.

This year, Otis-Bison returns just three full-time starters on both sides of the ball: senior linemen Sam Higgason and Matt Demel and senior running back/linebacker Dylan Wissman, arguably the state's top eight-man player.

Higgason was first team all-Central Prairie League last season, while Wissman was second team on both sides of the ball. Demel collected second-team all-league honors.

Past that, Otis-Bison has some Cougars, such as juniors Kole Urban and Jordan Hoffman, who played some last year.

However, it's a much different roster construction than the last three seasons. But the high expectations remain. Starr has 19 players out -- all 19 were in summer weights and camp.

"It's a whole different atmosphere than it was a few years ago," Starr said. "You step out there, you expect to win. You better not be satisfied with anything else. It's been a lot of time and effort on everybody's part. Obviously, it comes with a lot of talent."

Wissman, a four-year player, will be the focal point of the offense after sharing carries with a variety of players the last few seasons. He has collected 3,076 all-purpose yards in his career, including 2,488 rushing yards and 55 touchdowns. Last year, he rushed for 1,203 yards and had 331 receiving yards.

"Just a hard-nosed runner," Moscow coach Travis Johnson said. "He is not going to make a lot of cuts. He is just going to get up in the hole and just lower your shoulder and run you over."

No other returning player rushed for more than 100 yards or caught more than one pass.

"Usually we have more people coming back, but I think what we have coming back is fine," Wissman said. "State is going to be our goal every season. That is what we are looking for at the end."

Wissman was the backup quarterback earlier in his high school career, but Starr wanted to keep Wissman at running back. Fullback is a question mark, but Otis-Bisonlikely will run some one-back sets with just Wissman. Starr isn't concerned about the number of carries Wissman gets, but is more focused on limiting the hits Wissman takes.

"He will get the majority of the runs," Starr said.

Urban, who completed 2-of-6 passes for 74 yards in backup duty last year, has impressed in the summer and fall camp.

"He is doing a real good job of maturing and leadership, which at that position, we needed really bad," Starr said.

Starr believes Urban, known for his speed and shiftness, will give the Cougars "a little more" in the run game than Trevor Keller, who started for the last two seasons and had a 39/11 TD/INT ratio.

"We didn't really have to talk to him a lot about anything," Starr said. "I think he knows now that he is a junior, and he is going to be counted upon. I think he has kind of taken the leadership upon himself. He hadn't taken any snaps really in the varsity level at that position, so I think it was just him. He knew that he had to get with it and put in the time. I think he is growing into that position pretty well."

Defensively, Otis-Bison graduated five of its top six tacklers. Wissman ranked third with 68 stops. Higgason collected 41, Urban had 39, Demel collected 31 and Hoffman had 29. Urban and Hoffman each substantial playing time on defense last year because of injuries. Senior Justus Bartonek will start at middle linebacker in the Cougars' traditional 3-1 defense. Hoffman and Wissman will be on the outside, while Urban and senior Justin Jecha will be the safeties.

Higgason, Demel and senior Tyler Maier will start on both lines. Starr said the offensive line will "definitely have to be the leaders" of the team behind a run-heavy attack. As well, Higgason/Demel/Maier could match the dominant, all-state group of Robert Kolas, Josh Krom and Dominic Trapp from two years ago. Hoffman will start at tight end.

"A couple of those guys didn't play many snaps (in the past), like Tyler Maier," Starr said. "He played behind Dominic Manley for a couple of years. He played behind Krom for a year. He just hasn't been able to get on the field because the guys in front of him were just better than he was, but he is a heck of an offensive lineman for us."

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