What the Bellevue High School football team lacks in size it makes up for in heart and effort. The Comets have a roster of 20 players and only a couple of them top 200 pounds but coach Chet Knake’s team is 4-0 and ranked 10th in class 1A in the latest Radio Iowa poll.
Kanke says their offensive line averages around 175 to 180 pounds with just a couple of kids overall over 200 pounds. “If we weren’t going to have size we had to change some things up and run more of a spread offense and use tempo, try to turn that more to our advantage. We just couldn’t do the traditional thing this year and try to pound people with our size,” Kanke says.
Kanke says the lack of size has not hurt a Comet defense that has made major strides this year. “The great think about it is, we have tacklers this year. You can survive on defense if you are quick and you play low with leverage and you have some kids who can tackle. And this is the first year since I’ve coached here that we have kids like that…this is the best defense we’ve had since I started coaching here,” according to Kanke.
Knake says without size and numbers they’ve adjusted their style of play and he was surprised they have gotten results so quickly. Knake says they will get a huge test on Friday night as they put their unbeaten record on the line at fourth rated West Branch. Knake says the Bears average around 250 pounds on the line of scrimmage.
“The last couple of years we struggled when adversity hit, we kind of dropped our heads…I don’t think this team will because they haven’t done that yet..I’m excited to see how they respond to the challenge we face,” Kanke says.