Miles Looks to Make Historic Run in 2017
MILES, TX-- Following a 2016 season that saw Miles fall to Van Horn in the bi-district round of playoffs, Head Coach Chad Currie feels he has a team that can get over the bi-district hump in 2017. With 15 returning starters, size on the offensive line, and the athleticism possessed by the Bulldogs, it's hard to see any reason why the Bulldogs can't add at least one gold ball to their trophy case.
"This is the group I was waiting for," Currie said. "With these seniors and juniors, mixed in with a couple of the young guys, this team can be something special."
However, the Bulldogs will be without former quarterback Ross Kalina, who decided to focus on his baseball career. Transitioning into the quarterback role for Miles is former running back, senior Jonas Garcia. "[Jonas] is our general," Currie said. "He leads our team. He is the heartbeat of this team."
While a position change may hurt a team in normal circumstances, Garcia's move to quarterback may not have the same growing pains as other positions, especially in a run heavy offense. "I have a running back's vision," Garcia stated. "I can see the holes. I know what our running backs are thinking."
Returning in the backfield, along with Garcia, will be a pair of tailbacks in Kuail Kraatz and Mason Bryan. That trio combined for nearly 2,000 yards last season.
Although, in a district with 2A power Albany and Iraan staring at district 6-2A D2's fourth place team, it may take more than just pure athleticism to do any damage come November. "Albany has the athletes to beat anyone downfield," Currie said. He added that his team would make use of different motions and shifts this season to try and catch teams off guard.
Defensively, the Bulldogs return senior linebacker Gary Gabrielli, their leading tackler a year ago, and defensive end Jared Flores. Flores spearheaded the pass rush for Miles a year ago, tallying six sacks over the course of the season. Having these two athletes play at a high level throughout the 2017 season could prove to be the difference between facing Iraan or Van Horn in round one of the playoffs, or facing Menard in bi-district.
Coach Currie may be right; his team may have something special in them this year. However, the Bulldogs will have to stay healthy, as injuries plagued them a year ago. All things said, Miles goes 8-2 overall with a 3-2 district record.
Miles opens the season away at Leakey on September 1st at 7:30 p.m.