Football: 2017 Smoky Hill football team at a glance

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Senior quarterback Brenden Gargan, right, takes over for a graduated three-year starter with the Smoky Hill football team and will try to get the Buffaloes back into the win column in 2017. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

AURORA | The 2017 Smoky Hill football team at a glance:

Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel

SMOKY HILL

Mascot: Buffaloes

Coach: John Trahan

Last year: 0-9 overall (0-5 in Mount Massive League), missed Class 5A playoffs

FOOTBALL 2017: SMOKY HILL BUFFALOES

2017 season outlook: Smoky Hill coach John Trahan knows how difficult it is to win football games at the high school with a seasoned roster and how much harder still it is be successful with a young team. The Buffaloes have youth “everywhere” in 2017 — including at least 30 sophomores — when they’ll attempt to get back into the win column after an 0-9 2016 season. Trahan isn’t using youth as an excuse and feels like the young players have a fire to get better. Smoky Hill does have some experience, including senior Demarius Pittman, an All-Mount Massive League second team selection at wide receiver (552 yards & 4 touchdowns receiving) who will play all over the field for the Buffaloes, while senior Tyler Greco leads an offensive line that features four sophomores including sizable Garrett Vea and Jaedan Warner. Smoky Hill graduated a three-year starter at quarterback in Karson Avila, so Trahan has turned to senior Brenden Gargan — who threw just one varsity pass last season — to run things. Pittman and sophomore Obasanjo Sanni figure to carry the ball the bulk of the time. The Buffaloes also lost their top four tacklers from last season, so senior Chris Noel and junior David Hoage will try to pick up some of the slack from their linebacker spots.

Schedule breakdown: Smoky Hill has nearly the same schedule as it had in front of it last season and it is a doozy. The Buffaloes could start with a much more difficult two contests as they draw Highlands Ranch (in Zero Week Aug. 26) and Eaglecrest on Sept. 1, while they will most certainly look forward to facing an Aurora Central team that beat them by just five points last season on Sept. 15. Smoky Hill gets into Mount Massive League play with Doherty (Oct. 6) and Grandview (Oct. 12) back-to-back.

2017 SMOKY HILL FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

Home games bold and uppercased (home games played at Stutler Bowl): Saturday, Aug. 26 — HIGHLANDS RANCH, 1 p.m.; Friday, Sept. 1 — vs. Eaglecrest at Legacy Stadium, 7 p.m.; Saturday, Sept. 9 — ROCK CANYON, 1 p.m.; Friday, Sept. 15 — vs. Aurora Central at APS Stadium, 6:30 p.m.; Saturday, Sept. 23 — ARVADA WEST, 1 p.m.; Friday, Oct. 6 — vs. Doherty at Garry Berry Stadium, 7 p.m.; Thursday, Oct. 12 — vs. Grandview at Legacy Stadium, 7 p.m.; Friday, Oct. 20 — vs. Overland at Stutler Bowl, 7 p.m.; Thursday, Oct. 26 — BOULDER, 7 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 4 — vs. Arapahoe at LPS Stadium, 1 p.m.