By Staff for www.mcpherson-county-ks.com
MCPHERSON – Outside of stumbling in at 7-3 in 2021, the McPherson High football program has had substantial success the past five seasons and look for 2022 to be much the same.
Between tenures at Hays and McPherson, Jace Pavlovich had 11 seasons as a defensive coordinator before taking over the head job for the Bullpups in 2015 and enters his sixth season with an overall mark of 62-16.
“We want to reach our potential,” explained coach Pavlovich in his pre-season reflections. “We have had a great summer thus far and need to continue to build on our character and team chemistry. If we can do that, then we have a chance to be just as good if not better than we have in the past. Our summer weight room attendance was the lowest it has ever been this past summer and I think our guys realize that working together all summer is the key to our past success.”
In the past five seasons, Pavlovich has led the Bullpups to a 49-9 record and will have the assistance of Chet Harlin, Mike Davison, Nick Gawanda, John Montgomery, Randall Milleson, Kaden Tichenor, David Goerzen, Patrick Corcoran and Matt Sandbo on the sidelines.
Among the 36 returning letter winners will be seven starters on both the offensive and defensive side of the game.
Running a base 4-2-5 defense, the Bullpups will return both linebackers in Teegan Haines and Javyn Alexander while Jayse Schriner, Jaret Myers, Luke Schroeder, and Cade Wedel will return at four of the five defensive back slots. Where McPherson will need some help is on the line as Sam Becker is the lone returnee to the starting defensive line.
Referencing his defense, Pavlovich noted, “Defensively we will be a bit smaller than we have been in the past upfront, but we will be very quick. The linebacking core is deep with quality players like I have had in my 17 years in McPherson. We are also very strong at defensive back which might allow us to play some more man coverage.”
With the spread offense, the Bullpups are in good hands with the return of Hunter Alvord at quarterback while JaytIn Gumm at running back, Tucker Pelnar at wide receiver and Sam Becker at tight end join him as skill position starters returning. Three of the five offensive lineman will be back as well with Connor McVicker, Joe Nutt and Mason Clark.
Concluding his pre-season reflections, Pavlovich discussed his offense by saying, “Offensively our only question is our offensive line. We have talented kids that can get it done but they have to find a way to gel as a unit. We have looked pretty good at camp thus far this summer as a position group. Our quarterback situation is very good as we have three guys that I feel comfortable with in a varsity setting and one young sophomore that will be game ready by midseason. We will once again be loaded at the wide receiver position with tons of talent coming back. The running back spot might be a question mark moving into the fall with our returning back, Jaytin Gumm, still working at coming back from an injury sustained during the spring. We do have some kids that we think can be pretty special at that position.”
McPherson opens the 2022 season with a pair of home games, hosting Great Bend in the season opener on Friday, September 2 before Augusta comes to town on Friday, September 9.
2022 BULLPUP RETURNING STARTERS:
DEFENSE (7): DL = Sam Becker; LB = Teegan Haines, Javyn Alexander; DB = Jayse Schriner, Jaret Myers, Luke Schroeder, Cade Wedel.
OFFENSE (7): QB = Hunter Alvord; RB = Jayten Gumm; WR = Tucker Pelnar; TE = Sam Becker; OL = Connor McVicker, Joe Nutt, Mason Clark.
2022 MCPHERSON BULLPUP FOOTBALL SCHEDULE:
- Friday, September 2 – Home with Great Bend
- Friday, September 9 – Home with Augusta
- Friday, September 16 – At Junction City
- Friday, September 23 – Home with Circle
- Friday, September 30 – At Winfield
- Friday, October 6 – At Wellington
- Friday, October 13 – Home with Mulvane
- Friday, October 20 – At Buhler
(William is a free-lance writer covering McPherson County Activities – he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)