Our High School Football Preview Tour continues to roll on.
The Meridian Media sports staff is previewing the 2021 season, venturing to different parts of central Kansas.
The latest stop was in Solomon, home to the Gorillas.
For the second consecutive year, Solomon finished 4-5. The Gorillas opened 2020 with four straight wins. A loss at Bennington in week five set off a five-game losing skid.
The ending to last season hurt for the young Gorillas, but plenty of experience returns for second-year head coach Mike Kilgore. A total of 14 lettermen are back, giving Solomon a chance at redemption in 2021.
Solomon’s biggest loss from last season’s team was Alex Herbel, who’s now at Kansas Wesleyan. Herbel did a little bit of everything for Solomon, mainly starring at quarterback. Coach Kilgore has a couple options at signal caller. Sophomore Spencer Coup completed 13 passes for 164 yards and a touchdown last season. Senior Nevante Farris is also in the mix.
If Coup isn’t at QB, he’ll make a good target for the man throwing the football. Coup recorded 20 catches for 334 yards and three touchdowns. Seniors Dawson Duryea and Simon Smith, and sophomore Scott Robinson form the rest of the pass-catching group.
At tailback will be a pair of seniors in Dylan Hynes and Jarret Baxa. Hynes is the returning rushing leader, logging 446 yards and nine touchdowns. Baxa took a huge step forward in the offseason that’ll bolster the rushing attack.
Coach Kilgore is really excited about the talent in the trenches. In addition to being a receiver, Smith can line up on the line. Sophomores Lucas Newcomer, Kyle Ryan, and Evan Thompson all look forward to making a leap this season.
Plenty of talent is back on the defensive side of the ball as well, starting with top tackler Hynes. The senior recorded 75 tackles last year. Duryea and Baxa both can play linebacker.
The defense will feature versatility. Guys like Coup, Robinson, and Farris can slide to different positions in the back half of the formation. Those guys on the offensive line also star on the DL. Sophomore Hayden Zerbe will be in the mix as well.
Solomon’s schedule is once again difficult, but if the group is willing to learn from the mistakes during the rough patch a season ago, the Gorillas can get back to their winning ways in 2021.
2021 Solomon Gorillas Football Schedule:
Sept. 3 – Rural Vista
Sept. 10 – at Wakefield
Sept. 17 – at Centre
*Sept. 24 – Herington
*Oct. 1 – Bennington
*Oct. 8 – at Lincoln
*Oct. 15 – Canton-Galva
*Oct. 22 – at Little River
Oct. 29 – PLAYOFFS
*Denotes 8M-I District 4 game
Day 1: Abilene Cowboys
Day 2: Bennington Bulldogs
Day 3: Ellsworth Bearcats
Day 4: Solomon Gorillas
Day 5: Smoky Valley Vikings (on Aug. 20)
Day 6: Minneapolis Lions (on Aug. 23)
Day 7: Southeast of Saline Trojans (on Aug. 24)
Day 8: Ell-Saline Cardinals (on Aug. 25)
Day 9: Sacred Heart Knights (on Aug. 26)
Day 10: Salina South Cougars (on Aug. 27)
Day 10: Salina Central Mustangs (on Aug. 27)