So far, pretty fantastic

Vickers takes the reigns to lead GHS football team

Tate Hicks, Sports Editor

There is a new vibe to the 2021 football season.

GHS head coach Paul Vickers

The Gunnison High School (GHS) Cowboys are adjusting to a new coaching staff, a new program, new positions, and drills and routines. So far under the direction of first-year head coach Paul Vickers, the season has been a success. 

The Cowboys have started off the season hot with a record of 3-0. The streak was highlighted by HoCo win on September 11, a 17-7 slashing of the Grand Valley Cardinals, which highlighted the 50th anniversary of the 1971 bus crash that left so many members of the football community devastated. 

“The team is like family, everyone has each others back,” said Devin Gomez, a senior receiver and cornerback. “After the game, we were excited to bring home the win for the community.”

Vickers himself is a GHS graduate of 1989, who went on to play at Western in college. On his staff this year are long-time football coach Bob Howard, Tom Riser, Will Buckhanan, and Michael Sejo.

“The new staff is the biggest change,” said senior Sam Buckhanan, and running back and linebacker. “With the new staff comes new ways we do things around the field, a new pregame, new drills, and new warm-ups.”

So far the Cowboys have been successful in adjusting to the changes. They have scored wins over Del Norte, Grand Valley, and Dove Creek the past three weeks. 

In a win over Del Norte, 18-12,  the Cowboys showcased their defensive skills with an early blocked punt and scoop and score by Peyton Frias and Kaleb Vincent, respectively. 

The Cowboys moved on to their homecoming week game and took down the Grand Valley Cardinals, 17-7, for their first win of the Western Slope League (WSL) season. Sam Buckhanan had an outstanding game with 12 carries for 158 yards and two touchdowns. 

Most recently, the Cowboys took down Dove Creek, 24-14, on Saturday, September 18. The victory boosted the Cowboys into the top 15 of the class 1A football poll.

Senior Jose Sanchez not only showed his worth on the offensive line against the Bulldogs, but he also showcased his kicking skills and booted in a 36-yard field goal. Junior, Mike Riser caught a touchdown pass and Buckhanan added another rushing touchdown.

“Our best quality as a team is our chemistry,” said junior Peyton Frias. “Our chemistry was inspired by our new coach with the motto of being fantastic.” 

Vickers even has the words, “Be Fantastic,” tattooed on his forearm.

The Cowboys are now looking to score a big victory over their longtime rivals, the Olathe Pirates. The game kicks off from CornDog Stadium in Olathe at 7 p.m.