'Identity crisis' troubling KHS football team

KINGMAN ­ The Kingman High football team begins Part Two of its season tonight at 7 p.m., kicking off its region schedule at home against Goldwater in the Battle of the Bulldogs.

But no matter how many Bulldog decals, signs and jerseys adorn the field, Kingman coach Jay Weakland is unsure if his team will be able to find itself and put last week's 51-0 drubbing in the past.

"Right now we're struggling with an identity crisis," he said. "We took the loss kind off hard. It's not so much a new season for them, but an opportunity to try and figure out who they are. I don't think the season is lost or the team is lost ­ I just don't know who is going to show up."

Weakland said his team did not have its best stretch of practices this week in preparation for Goldwater, leaving him "excited, but curious" about how his team will perform.

"It's not that they have a negative attitude, but are they going to go through the motions or take charge of the game?" he said. " Last week was not as bad as they think it was, but they have to play together."

If the hometown Bulldogs want to take charge tonight, they will likely need more offensive production than their 69-yard output last Friday against Centennial. Goldwater, which also lost to Centennial two weeks ago before bouncing back and solidly beating Cibola last Friday, runs a defense very similar to Kingman's, which should help quarterback Justin Hosler and his offensive linemen.

Hosler, however, will be receiving the ball from a new center tonight, as Kingman will be without the services of Justin Roundy. Defensively, the Bulldogs will also be missing Jason Potthoff, who hurt his ankle in practice this week.

"We can be darn good when we want to be," Weakland said. "I've seen it in Week One and Two. We suffered some adversity and we're still getting after it, but we need to get back to playing physical football, emotional football and sound football."

Weakland said despite the sub-standard practices, he is optimistic, but he wants to see his players motivate themselves and their teammates.

"I'm glad we have these players, and I would not trade them for anyone else," he said. "But I want them to realize that if they play hard, they will succeed."