Our High School Football Preview Tour continues to roll on.
The Rocking M Media sports staff is previewing the 2020 season, venturing to different parts of central Kansas.
The latest stop was in Solomon, home to the Gorillas.
For the second consecutive year, Solomon High School has a new football coach.
After serving as offensive coordinator of the Gorillas for one season, Mike Kilgore takes over as head coach. Kilgore replaces David Strait, who resigned following one season at Solomon to accept an assistant coach position at Osborne. Former Solomon coach Steve Tiernan currently coaches the Bulldogs after leaving Solomon in 2018.
Kilgore transitioned to Solomon after serving as an assistant coach at Salina Central High School for seven seasons. Kilgore worked under head coach Mike Hall, being named the head assistant for the final two seasons before the arrival of current coach Mark Sandbo in 2018.
Solomon went 4-5 in 2019. The Gorillas graduated a handful of seniors, but plenty of talent is back.
Alex Herbel is the lone senior on this year’s squad. Herbel played multiple positions last year. Offensively, he led the team with 888 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns. Defensively, he recorded two interceptions.
Seven juniors back up Herbel for much needed leadership for a young squad. Dawson Duryea and Dylan Hynes are looking to build on successful seasons as sophomores. Hynes ended up as the top tackler in 2019, accumulating 119 stops with four sacks. Hynes also ran for 423 yards and seven scores.
Duryea did a little bit of everything. As a passer, he threw for 199 yards and a pair of TD’s. As a runner, Duryea racked up 339 yards and five touchdowns. Defensively, he totaled 42 tackles with an interception.
Coach Kilgore said this group couldn’t wait for the first whistle at practice Monday. If Solomon can avoid injuries, the Gorillas expect a bounce back season.
2020 schedule for Solomon Gorillas (all kickoff times slated for 7 pm):
Sept. 4 – at Rural Vista
Sept. 11 – Wakefield
Sept. 18 – Centre
Sept. 25 – at Herington*
Oct. 2 – at Bennington*
Oct. 9 – Lincoln*
Oct. 16 – at Canton-Galva*
Oct. 23 – Little River*
Oct. 30 – PLAYOFFS
*8-Man DI District 4 Game
Day 1: Abilene Cowboys
Day 2: Bennington Bulldogs
Day 3: Ellsworth Bearcats
Day 4: Solomon Gorillas (on Aug. 20)
Day 5: Smoky Valley Vikings (on Aug. 21)
Day 6: Minneapolis Lions (on Aug. 24)
Day 7: Southeast of Saline Trojans (on Aug. 25)
Day 8: Ell-Saline Cardinals (on Aug. 26)
Day 9: Sacred Heart Knights (on Aug. 27)
Day 10: Salina South Cougars (on Aug. 28)
Day 10: Salina Central Mustangs (on Aug. 28)