By Mike Pilosof
Garden City, KS-The summertime in Junior College football, for the most part, consists of recruiting, weightlifting and putting the finishing touches on preparation for a grueling fall camp. But for the Broncbusters: this June, July and August will be like none other in program history.
The last time Jeff Sims' team took the field in Yuma, AZ. back in December, then freshman quarterback Peyton Huslig engineered an 85-yard scoring drive in the final 1:30, capping it with a one-yard touchdown pass to Harley Hazlett that pushed Garden City passed No. 2 Arizona Western 25-22 in the NJCAA National Championship Game.
The ramifications of that historical accomplishment are being felt more than six months later.
Street and Smith's ranked Garden City as the preseason No. 1 team in nation in their 2017 College Football preview edition.
"It's an honor if you think about what these players and coaches accomplished last year," Sims said. "We always have the mentality of looking ahead, but when you accomplish something historic, it's fun to reflect."
Street and Smith's may be the first publication to put Garden City at No. 1, but it certainly will not be the last. But this ranking has more significance than most: It is for all Junior College programs in the country, including California.
"They ranked us as the best in the nation," Sims said. "I will say this: It can work for you, and it can work against you. Teams will use that as extra motivation when they play us. But it's a pretty cool deal."
Garden City opens fall camp the first week of August. They kick off the regular season on Thursday, Aug. 24 at home vs. Ellsworth.