The 2019 Baxter Springs football team went winless with a 0-9 record. Matt Mims brings his seven years of coaching experience to Baxter Springs to change that around.
“We feel as if we are building more confidence for ourselves, believing in ourselves to get this season to where we want it,” said Mims.
Injuries, lack of depth, and adversity all plagued the Lions football team last season. Mims’s first order of business was changing the mindset and physicality of his team.
“(The biggest change from last season) is the coaching staff. Even the guys that were here last year are in different roles to be more comfortable,” said the Lions head coach.
“Our grit will be different; we are going to have the mindset to play four quarters from the first whistle to the last and hit you in the mouth the whole time.”
A trio of seniors return for Baxter Springs football, many of them two-way starters.
Kain McCully, 6’4″ 225 lbs., will play tight end on offense and linebacker on defense.
Peyton Herruenbruck, 5’10” 215 lbs., holds the line with experience on offense and defense.
The special team’s leg of Henry Riley returns for the Lions.
On the ground running is junior Garret Paxson, 6’1″ 165 lbs., who is listed at tailback.
Junior Braden Rector, 5’10” 205 lbs., and sophomore Logan Gess, 5’11” 205 lbs., will battle for the starting fullback position.
Sophomore Jack Deringer, 6’2″ 180 lbs., takes over the play-calling responsibilities for the Lions offense.
Mims believes the weight room efforts this summer will yield the Lions their first win since 2018.
“We think we will be the most conditioned team in each game; we hope to wear our opponents down, and be able to continue to keep going.”
Conditioning should go a long way for the Lions, as long as they remain healthy.
Baxter Springs joins a talented group of teams in District 1 that are all battling for a spot in the 3A playoffs.
Caney is known for its hard-hitting physicality.
Galena has brought a balance of toughness and athleticism with Beau Sarwinski.
Parsons recently graduated one of the fastest group of seniors in the state of Kansas.
Columbus promises to continue to play with a chip on its shoulder.
Cherryvale, who is also under the direction of a first-year head coach, joins the group.
Baxter Springs opens the 2020 season at home against fellow CNC rival Riverton on Friday, September 4th, 2020.