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Southwestern College

For fans and followers of the Southwestern Moundbuilder football team, the movie “Groundhog Day” must strike a chord.  SC has now endured 8 seasons in a row with between 1 and 4 wins.  As is the case with many programs in that kind of a rut, the reason comes down to one thing- depth.  Southwestern has had its share of talented football players, the problem just seems to be that as the season wears on, and guys get banged up, or have to play every down of every game, the level of play just can’t be sustained.  If you look at the roster numbers in Winfield since 2009, the numbers are creeping up in the right direction.  69 players in 2009 have given way to 85 last year.  The ‘Builders lose only nine seniors to graduation, and the current recruit signing list shows 24 signees, with a potential for seven more possible.  If they can avoid the attrition bug, that means another jump in roster size, adding depth, and hopefully for the team and fans, more wins.  The key to that growth however, is that the quality of the numbers must be there as well as the quantity.  Recruiting has become so competitive that attracting good players to a team that hasn’t been winning is a very difficult task. 

The 24 current signees include 7 transfers and 17 high school seniors, all of which come from Texas, Oklahoma or Kansas. 

Despite their lack of success in the win column, the ‘Builders have a fair amount, six to be exact, of very talented players who were honored with all-conference tags last year.  Four of these players come from the defense- Garrett Mangram, a junior from Winfield, KS, was a first team selection for his efforts on the defensive line.  Joining him are senior DB’s Lorenzo Fouts, Arlington TX, and Keith Zerger, Pretty Prairie, KS.  Linebacker Paul Mata, a junior from Carrollton, TX rounds out the all-conference selections on Defense.  

Offensively, Joe Vargas, a senior wide receiver from Winfield, KS returns, as does combo man Ceth Bannister, also from Winfield.  Ceth gets reps at wideout and handles the punting duties.  Crandall has personally taken over the offense in hopes of boosting production.  Prioritizing putting points on the board is certainly a step in the right direction.

Schedule wise, the Moundbuilders thankfully did themselves a favor and got away from playing the likes of NW Iowa for their non-conference game and picked one up with upstart Oklahoma Baptist.  However, after that initial contest, the road is rough for the ‘Builders right out of the gate with a game against Peru State of the HAAC, followed up with three tough matchups to start KCAC play in KWU, Friends and Tabor.  It’s a tough start, and we’ll know where the ‘Builders stand in a hurry this fall.  The key to success for the Moundbuilders is to keep increasing those roster numbers, grow some quality in-house talent and keep them there for four years.