Kingman Academy players take the field for practice Thursday afternoon.
Matt Hollinshead Miner Staff Reporter
KINGMAN - The Kingman Academy football team's offensive line was an area of great concern heading into 2013. Young, less experienced and smaller, Tigers head coach Wally Mueller tried to make the best of a situation that was far from ideal.
It paid off. Mueller feels his linemen are in a much better place heading into today's 7 p.m. game at Laughlin (Nev.) High School.
"We want everybody to be on the same page," Mueller said right before his squad's Thursday practice at Southside Park. "Our linemen, after they saw themselves on film, they understand what we've been talking about. They're way ahead of where we were four weeks ago."
Aside from resolving the offensive line woes, another key element was finalized. Senior Austin Tomlinson won the starting quarterback job. Mueller felt it was in the team's best interest, given the final weeks of 2012.
Senior Quinn Garcia ruptured one of his kidneys toward the end of last year. Tomlinson took over in time for KAHS' title run. Mueller hopes Tomlinson can build on that final stretch. This decision is tentative, though.
"There was never any doubt in my mind. Austin is an athlete," Mueller said. "When Quinn went down, Austin stepped in and assumed the role. That's not to say you won't see Quinn Garcia at quarterback because that's an option that's wide open to us as well."
After two grueling summer months at training camp, Kingman Academy's season opener is upon them. It will be their first game played in the Arizona Interscholastic Association.
Mueller is confident in his running backs. He's settled on naming a starting quarterback. The one thing they want to do is keep mistakes to a minimum. They hope everything else will fall into place.
"We want to play as flawless as possible, in all aspects of this game," Mueller said.