Buckeyes Tackling High Expectations - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

8/8/06-Gilmer

Buckeyes Tackling High Expectations

Call it a blessing, or call it a curse, but the expectations can't get much higher this year for the Gilmer football team. The Buckeyes, behind a blue-chip quarterback and a couple of blue-chip wide receivers, are ranked number one in the state, and are the favorites to win the 3A state championship. Then again, that's the Buckeyes goal every year. Head coach Jeff Traylor says he's just not used to the media agreeing with him so early in the season.

"We've never been ranked higher than 23rd (preseason) in our six years here," Traylor said.  But, it's not where you start, it's where you finish, and our team is mature enough, I hope, to understand that.  That stuff is just for people to buy magazines and it's fun to talk about and it adds great excitement to the game, but we don't put much stock into that stuff."

Don't get Traylor wrong.  He's not going to ask for a recount.  His successfull teams of the past have at least one thing  in common with this years team.  They all featured a lot of experienced players returning.  He has seven starters returning on defense and 9 starters returning on offense, including blue chip receivers Curtis Brown and Jemmell Kennedy, and 3A offensive player of the year, former Canton quarterback G.J. Kinne.  The big difference is, none of the past teams received such preseason noteriety.

"We're usually a team that comes around later in the year," said Traylor, "so that's a little bit different.  But, we're excited about it."

They've never been right before with us," Traylor added with a smile.  "I hope this time they are right."

The Buckeyes open their season Thursday, August 31 against Las Vegas Bishop Gorman in the East Texas Football Classic.

Kevin Berns reporting.
kberns@kltv.com

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