Jackrabbits for years to come will look back at Bowie’s 2015 season with a full heart. Bowie won their first playoff game in 34 years.
“That was a big goal that the kids and our staff have had. That’s just something that we needed to get done. And now that we’ve got that done, that’s not the goal anymore, we have a lot bigger goals, but that kind of seems like that’s been the goal around here for a long time and we really don’t have to worry about that anymore, which I think is a good thing. We can have a lot bigger goals,” says head coach Dylan Stark.
Fourteen seniors take the field this season, so experience shouldn’t be an issue. Stark is excited about this group, especially after watching them bounce back during tough times last year, “We didn’t start off very well. Right there in the middle of our non district we took some pretty bad beatings, but that might have been the best thing for us. It made us better. I think just sticking together as a team and I don’t have any doubts that this group will do that.”
Junior Jeffery Howard takes over at quarterback. He’s an exceptional athlete in multiple sports, and he’s the reigning basketball district MVP. His teammates look up to him and honor his leadership. Stark says his transition from wide receiver will be smooth, “He played wide receiver last year and had a huge year. He’s moving to quarterback and he’s played that before growing up. Jeffery’s just a really good athlete he’s just really good at whatever he does. And I think he’ll be able to pick that up quick.”
The district favorite happens to be the defending state champion: Brock. The Eagles went 16-0 a year ago…on average, allowing less than 10 points per game. But senior running back Brandon Hutto isn’t worried about their schedule, “We’re going to compete. We think we can beat anybody on our schedule. So we’re going to go out there and compete like we can win.”
The Jackrabbits will utilize their quickness and speed, namely in Hutto, who rushed for 990 yards and 12 touchdowns a year ago.
Overall, there’s a new level of confidence this team carries with them. And they’re hoping to build on last season’s historic playoff victory in 2016.