By Mike Pilosof
Garden City, KS-Spend five minutes around Jeff Sims, the stoic, third-year Head Coach for Garden City, and you will realize that if he entered the World Series of Poker, he would be a shoe-in for the finals. In fact, the reigning national coach of the year may have the best poker face in college football.
"People want me to tell them who the All-Americans are the first day of camp," Sims said with a smile. "It doesn't work that way. There's a process. We have a lot of talented guys out here. But we have to put things together."
And so began the odyssey that is junior college football in August as the Broncbusters opened fall Camp on Tuesday night, which was focused on conditioning more so than actual reps.
"This isn't the 1960's," Sims explained. "You don't show up to practice and then get in shape. You have to do your work during the summer program. And some guys did that; others need some work."
While every team entering the new season undoubtedly has question marks, one of the biggest for Garden City will be who replaces Peyton Huslig at quarterback. The MVP of the national championship game will be the starting signal caller this fall at Missouri State after leading the Broncbusters to the program's first-ever National Title last season. The former Andover Central quarterback, took over the reins vs. Butler and never relinquished the job, throwing for 1140 yards, 12 touchdowns and only one interception.
Two guys vying for that spot will be Terry Wilson and Tylin Oden.
Wilson, who played high school ball at Del City in Oklahoma, transferred from the University of Oregon after losing out to eventual starter Justin Herbert in 2016. He originally committed to Nebraska after a stellar prep career.
Oden is a pro-style quarterback who transferred from Rutgers after appearing in six games as a true freshman last season. He played his high-school ball at Spring Hill in Tennessee, accounting for more than 4,000 total yards during his career. He was named the Region 4 Player of the Year and made the all-state team.
"The thing is, things have to break your way," Sims said. "We have good players, but luck is definitely involved with winning. We were very fortunate last year. Our starting quarterback was the third string guy entering the season. Then one of our guys breaks a team rule, and the rest is history."
The Broncbusters continue fall camp on Wednesday. They open the regular season Thursday, Aug. 24 vs. Ellsworth.