A year after helping guide the Solomon Gorillas to their first ever 8-Man Division I state championship game, David Strait has been named head coach for the 2019 season.

Strait enters his third year at Solomon after graduating from Sterling College in 2017. A Concordia High School product, Strait played high school football for Tim Lambert while at Concordia. Strait begins his third year as third grade teacher in the Solomon School District.

“I am really excited to begin this year,” Strait said. “It has always been a dream of mine to be a head football coach. I didn’t think it would happen this fast.”

Strait inherits a program that went 11-2 a year ago under Steve Tiernan, who resigned to return to Osborne. That 2018 team was senior laden and Strait and his coaching staff will look for some of the young guys to step up and lead the team.

“Obviously the standards will be high following a state championship appearance,” he said. “However, we do lose a great senior class who really showed what the product of hard work is. We have lots of young guys who were a part of the run and saw how much of an investment it takes to do something special. We are really just focusing on taking it a day at a time and getting better every day.

“We’ve had a pretty good summer,” the coach said. “We’ve had 13 to 14 guys working hard all summer. If they continue to show up on time, work hard with a good attitude and be coachable, we can’t ask for any more than that. If we do those things, then I think what happens on the field takes care of itself. But overall I am excited about this year, excited about these boys and excited to get things rolling.”

Strait expects to continue to run a power offense and a 3-2 defense like the program did under Tiernan. Assisting with the team will be Mike Kilgore, Bo Soden, Ryan Krajicek and Luke Riorden.

Expected back for the Gorillas will be senior Cobey Fiske, 6-0, 200. Fiske had 21 receptions last year for 475 yards and nine touchdowns. On defense he had 111 tackles of which seven were for loss. Other seniors returning will be Brock Nelson, Cameron Miller, Trevor Kirby and Tyler Lantz.

Sophomore Dylan Hynes should also be back. Hynes had 27 yards of rushing offense on seven carries. Defensively he had 29 tackles and an interception.

Junior Alex Herbel may have the inside track at quarterback for Solomon in 2019. The 5-9, 150 junior had a 33 percent completion percentage in spot relief a year ago. Defensively he had 66 tackles and four interceptions.

Solomon opens the regular season against Rural Vista at Hope on Sept. 6.

2019 Solomon High School Football

Sept 6 at Rural Vista at Hope

Sept 13 vs. Wakefield

Sept 20 at Moundridge

Sept 27 vs. Goessel

Oct 4 vs. Bennington

Oct 11 at Herington

Oct 18 vs. Canton-Galva

Oct 25 at Peabody-Burns

Nov 1 TBD

Contact Ron Preston at sports@abilene-rc.com.

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