SAND HILLS, Fla. (WMBB) – The Bozeman football will be incredibly deep this season on both sides of the ball as they look for their first playoff victory in three years.
The Bucks have reached the playoffs in five consecutive seasons, but hold a 21-30 overall record and only one postseason win during that span.
“We’ve had that consistency to get there,” Bozeman Head Coach Jason Griffin said. “What we haven’t had is we haven’t had the ability to get there and continue.”
But if Coach Griffin has had a team he thinks is deep enough to make a playoff run, he said this is it.
The Bucks are a senior-heavy squad with a multifaceted faceted identity. They will be led by three senior linebackers who will be the anchor of their defense.
“I feel like we’re going be known for our defense because we have pretty much all returners plus some from a couple of other schools,” Bozeman senior linebacker Trevor Oswald said. “I think it just can be a really, really good defense.”
But Bozeman junior center Treven Sweat believes the offense will be the driving force of the teams’ success.
“Our quarterback can sling ball like I’ve never seen before,” Sweat said. “And as much depth as we have in our receiving corps and how like just skilled they are in general, we’re going to be able to dominate the passing field.”
Leading the Bozeman passing attack will be senior quarterback, Peyton Gay. He had a strong sophomore season passing for nearly 1,400 yards but was sidelined most of his junior year to a season-ending injury.
Now that Gay is back in control of the offense, the consensus is that he will have the most talented and deepest skill group to work with during his high school career.
Coach Griffin said on any given night, he could have seven to 10 skill players in the rotation.
“We hope that what Peyton can be this year is the point guard, distribute the ball,” Griffin said. “We’ve got a lot of guys with talent around him, we like Peyton to be able to distribute the ball and take what the defense gives us. And I think Peyton is just the right man for that job.”
Where teams might expect Bozeman to take a step back is on the front line where they are much smaller in physical size than the year prior.
However, the Bucks believe they are stronger overall on the offensive line and Sweat said size will not be an issue.
“We’re really undersized but we’ve got a lot of speed,” Sweat said. “We’ve got a lot of integrity, we’ve got a lot of strength, the only thing we’re lacking is size. And you don’t really need size to be a good football team.”
Bozeman’s schedule is favorable early and more difficult later in the regular season. They plan to make a sixth consecutive playoff appearance, but they want that to only be the beginning.
“I expect it, plus some,” Oswald said. “We definitely are going much further into the playoffs than the past couple of years.”
The Bucks open their preseason with a home match against Arnold on Thursday, August 17, and open the regular season at home against Florida A&M High School on Friday, August 25.