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November 19, 2013

Bronchos have tough end to winning season

CENTRAL HIGH — A 38-0 first-round loss in the Class B state playoffs did not deter Central High senior Deekota Williams from wearing a broad grin when talking about the 2013 season.

He knew the team had accomplished something special.

Five shutouts in 11 games is not easy to do. Playing eight-man football, where the team is more spread out, makes it even more of a challenge, Williams said. As the Bronchos’ (8-3, 7-2) starting middle linebacker, the five doughnuts on the team’s schedule makes him proud.

“Especially as one of the defensive leaders, that really impressed me,” Williams said.

Central High coach Keith Burton knew it was a special accomplishment as well. He pointed to two changes he had to make early in the season that resulted in a stronger defensive gameplan. Two seniors left their natural positions — Austen Dewitt moved from safety to linebacker and George Wagner from linebacker to defensive lineman.

“They were both team players,” Burton said. “Their attitude was, whatever they need to do to help the team, they are willing to do it. They were very unselfish in that, and that was just a reflection of our whole team really.”

The unselfish team needed someone on offense to perform every night, though, and senior Kevin Harris filled that role. With more than 2,000 total yards from scrimmage, Harris was a menace for opponents to keep out of the end zone, scoring 37 touchdowns on offense.

“He’s not only talented, but he works hard too,” Burton said. “That’s the part that most people don’t see, is his work ethic during practice. He came to practice everyday to get better, and he has a great desire to play.”

With Harris leading the way on offense, Wagner, Williams and senior defensive back John Repp provided leadership at each level on the other side of the ball. While Repp was second in receiving yards to Harris, he led the team with nine interceptions. Him roaming the secondary provided a dilemma for the opposition, which was already facing a defensive line that Williams called “impeccable.”

Nine seniors played their final game in the Bronchos’ playoff loss to Pond-Creek Hunter on Friday. They will move on and their school will move too. The jump from Class B to A means that Central High will be playing 11-man football. There are 12 non-senior players on the roster, but the team will return most of its offensive line, which helped the Bronchos rush for more than 2,400 yards in the regular season.

With his first eight-win season as a player in the books, Williams said he will look fondly on this season, even if it wasn’t the end he would have scripted.

“I’m going to have to tell my kids that I went to the playoffs three years in high school,” Williams said. “This year, 8-3, that I was a part of that.”

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