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Teeter grabs the reins at Holcomb

8/20/2014

By BRETT MARSHALL

By BRETT MARSHALL

Special to The Hays Daily News

HOLCOMB -- When most coaching changes occur in any sport at any level, the transition can sometimes be painfully slow.

Not so in the case of the Holcomb Longhorns football program and new trail boss Kent Teeter.

With Monday's opening day of fall drills now complete, Teeter, formerly the head coach of the Goodland Cowboys, was hard at work preparing for Tuesday's 4 p.m. workouts with his new team.

"Over the years, I think most coaches simply don't like the first three days (no pads)," said Teeter, a veteran coach who has also had stints at Great Bend and Hays. "We're just continuing to work on installing things -- the defense, the offense -- like where to lineup and a little bit of conditioning."

Teeter was named the head coach in late May after previous head coach and still HHS Athletic Director Jerry Johnson resigned to have more time to commit to his family and his other HHS duties.

"The coaches have done a good job in preparing for the season, and I have a lot of respect for coach Johnson," Teeter said.

In fact, Johnson will remain on the football staff where he will oversee the offensive line and inside linebackers on defense.

"He knows the kids, he knows the system, he's a great asset to have," Teeter said of Johnson. "We're really blessed with some great coaches, and I've seen that from the other side of the field the last few years."

In addition to Johnson, Teeter will have Jack Johnson (Jerry's father) working with offensive linemen and the interior defensive line positions. Brandon Hill will serve as the defensive coordinator, working with defensive backs and wide receivers on offense. Lucas Sullivan will work with outside linebackers and running backs while Teeter will handle the quarterback and defensive end spots.

Also figuring into the transition of new coach will be a new quarterback for the Longhorns, but one with whom Teeter is quite familiar.

That would be his son, Trey, a 5-10, 170-pound junior, who started for the Cowboys both as a freshman and sophomore.

"He's really fit in well with the kids here," Teeter said of Trey. "He knew some of them from having played against them in multiple sports. He plays with confidence and enthusiasm. He knows how to be a leader, and the good part is that we can go home and talk about it."

The Cowboys were 6-4 a year ago and lost to Abilene in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs. Teeter's teams made the postseason three of the last four seasons, with two of those in Class 3A where they lost twice to Scott City in opening round games.

Teeter and his staff greeted 54 players on the field on Monday, but missing is Trey Sleep, the team's top receiver a year ago, who had offseason shoulder surgery and will miss the entire football season, but should be ready for basketball season.

"We'll get some special teams stuff installed and then get ready for Thursday," said Teeter of the first day they can practice with full pads. "That's a whole new deal for the kids."

Thus far, Teeter has liked what he sees in his new team and program. He was able to arrive in Holcomb at the outset of summer camps and workouts, so he's been able to get the majority of his system installed.

"We've got depth and that will allow us to play a lot of kids on Friday nights," Teeter said.

One of the top players in the area returns to the Longhorns in 6-2, 220-pound senior running back/linebacker Blake Richmeier. He was a member of The Telegram's All-Area team in 2013 and looms as a potential D-I recruit.

"He's just a really solid kid who can play at the next level," Teeter said of Richmeier. "You can pinpoint a player like him. He's a team leader and he's got a great work ethic."

Teeter and his wife, Dixie, and their other child, 13-year-old Teryn, are still house hunting. In the meantime, they are living with Todd and Kelly Tichenor. Todd is Dixie's brother.

"Hotel Tichenor at the moment," Teeter said with a big smile. "We're settling in, but we won't be completely settled in until we find a home. The people here are great and the community support has been really good."

The Longhorns will open their 2014 season on Sept. 5 with a road game at Cimarron.