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Hutchinson Community College’s Kingsley Ugwu (73) blocks Garden City’s Arvell Ferguson (15) during their game at Gowans Stadium Sunday afternoon, April 25, 2021. Hutchinson defeated Garden City 23-7.
Both teams heading to Little Rock are under the direction of first-year head coaches. The Snow Badgers are 8-0 under their head man, Zak Erekson. This is Erekson’s 12th year of coaching and he has had stops in Utah at the high school level as well as coaching in Texas.
He coached at Abilene Cooper in Abilene, Texas where he led Cooper to an 11-2 mark in 2011. Prior to hoping on the staff at Snow, Erekson served as the athletic director and head coach at Skyline High School in Salt Lake City, Utah.
“I think it’s kind of cool there’s two first-year head coaches doing it,” Dallas said. “He’s got his team well-prepared and ready to roll, and like I said earlier, we expect a dog fight for four quarters on them.”
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This season, the Blue Dragons have two wins over ranked opponents as to Snow’s one in the Badgers’ season opener against Iowa Western, who fumbled around in the top-five of the national rankings all season long and finished No. 4.
“They’re a very-well coached team,” Dallas said. “They’re balanced on offense and defense. I know defensively they create a lot of havoc with what they do from a scheme standpoint, and those are things that we’ve got to handle with our guys up front and on the edge. They’re a good, quality opponent, and we’re going to expect a four-quarter dog fight, just like any other week.”
© Sandra J. Milburn/The Hutchinson