303Gonzo.com 2019 preps SPOTLIGHT: Smoky Hill



303Gonzo.com preps reporter & www.Blogtalk Radio.com/303Gonzo“Gonzo” Darrell Gonzales spotlights high school football teams. Team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Colorado and #GonzoWatchList players in the state. Starting July 31, @303Gonzo will unveil the @303Gonzo Top players to eye, leading up to kickoff on Thursday, Aug. 29.

Head coach –Tom Thenell

Assistant coaches: Zach Thenell WR, Jon Marine OL, Kelton Coppenger RB, Ryan Clement QB, Jerry Brown DC, Jake Fisher LB, Steve Stone DL, Adonis DB. JV Kelton Coppenger HC, Jake Fisher DC, Chris Warren OL. Freshman HC Mark Kieffer, Asst Dedric Hood, Torey Gassaway.

How they fared in 2018: Overall 10-1 League 10-0 Yes a one game loss season, 48-14 in round one of the playoffs of 24 teams, Ouch! First season HC Thenell created a culture out of some talented players of underclassmen. The team only graduated 4 seniors and are ready for a new few players to step up and become fearless to go further into the post season. The team saw two leaders behind center and are looking to rebuild an area team that was a farm club in years past to nearby schools in the same district and conference in most seasons.

2019 Regular Season Schedule:

Date Opponent Result
8/29 7:00p
Game Details: Stutler Bowl
Preview Game
9/7   6:00p
Game Details: Legacy Stadium, Veterans Appreciation
Preview Game
9/13 7:00p
Game Details: Legacy Stadium, Homecoming
Preview Game
9/20 7:00p
Game Details: Prairie View HS Field
Preview Game
9/28 1:00p
Game Details: Evie Dennis Stadium
Preview Game
10/3 7:00p
Game Details: Recht Field, Boulder HS
Preview Game
10/11 7:00p
Game Details: Stutler Bowl
Preview Game
10/18 7:00p
Game Details: Adams City HS Field
Preview Game
10/24 7:00p
Game Details: Stutler Bowl, Senior Night
Preview Game
11/1 7:00p
Game Details: Westminster HS Field
Preview Game
Biggest storyline: Sophomore head coach Thenell transforming Smoky Hill in the conference of ten to Metro East in 2020 and 2021. Yes the brainchild at CHSAA that created a 5A classification of 5-6 team conferences and 1 group of 10 last season where 23 of 30 teams gain playoff entry while the other conference only gets one post season spot. Smoky Hill won their conference of 10 to gain a playoff berth and most likely will repeat again in 2019 as they only lost four players to graduation. They open with Overland the team they will replace in the next two year cycle. Probably should have swapped conferences this season.

Names to watch this season: Chase Lyons OLB/TE, Obi Sanni RB,  Leslie Richardson III QB, Kwasi Amponing LT, & Jaedon Warner RT

Biggest holes to fill: Well its obvious #34 David Hoage, a player we felt has D1 talents at the DE/OLD position and will suit up locally in Greeley and UNC this fall. The team is looking to play the best 11 as it concludes its development conference 2 year cycle and replaces Overland in the Metro East in 2020 and 2021. The freshman class has numbers so depth is a bright spot. Holes might NOT be an issue rather substituting underclassmen to gain much needed reps.

Gonzo’s Early Take: Tossing Tommy has a  starting QB that could pass for 3K but the running game is most glaring and could see a 2K rusher in 10 games with considerable rest. The defense across the board held its opponents to minimal scoring last year and needs to be held accountable if the plan is to go deep in the playoffs. The Buffaloes will need to have a few veteran guys step up in several spots but they will have some young guys needing to gain Varsity experience. The sophomore coaching staff has built a new culture and players are buying into the philosophies. Again Tossing Tommy Thenell likes to pass the ball so look for him to take control of the offense and play basketball on turf. However, a balanced run attack might be prudent. The strength of this team last year was young guys playing early and that will prove dividends in 2019. The Buffaloes are a rebuilding 5A team and will replace fellow CCSD and opening night opponent in Overland next year and compete in arguably the BEST conference statewide. This season is a flip flop of last years home and away schedule in which the first contest is NON conference and the other 9 games are in conference. So in order to repeat playing in November the Buffaloes must outlast the others and take into consideration playing underclassmen. Tommys Buffaloes will need to have a better post season as his staff has had to stare at that last game score of 48-14 all off season or nearly 10 months. Expect the winning culture to continue in South East Aurora off Smoky Hill Road.

One to watch is #44 Obasanjo Sanni (Sr) 11 games played in 2018 and 2,000 rushing yards, 161 in the lone playoff game. A player we feel has D1 talents at local UNC or CSU. Perhaps he can join teammate #21 V. King (Sr) whom has a verbal to UNC:

Only 6 games, 5 regular season and one playoff but look for Richardson III to post big numbers via tossing Tommy. Arguably a top 5 QB headed into 2019 that is fairly obscure other than in the @303Gonzo circle and team. #6 L. Richardson III (Jr)

#GONZOWATCHLIST to be featured in August Football magazine. List prepared in February for Spring evaluations. Feel free to follow us all season long:

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