GIBSON CITY (WCIA) — A lot has changed in Mike Allen’s life the last nine months, most notably leading the Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley football team to its first state championship. The thing that won’t change though, is his approach to winning titles. The longtime Falcons coach is taking the same approach heading into the 2018 season, just like he always does, starting with winning a conference championship.
“They’ve worked very hard and it hasn’t gone to their head, they’ve been very humble,” Allen said of his team this season. “A lot of people in the community have come around and said, ‘You couldn’t tell they just won the state championship’ with how humble they’ve been, so they know last year was last year and they’re ready to put their own mark on this year.”
GCMS returns 13 starters (8 on defense, 5 on offense) from last season’s 14-0 team that beat Maroa-Forsyth in the Class 2A title game. Reigning WCIA 3 Player of the Year Mitch McNutt is gone but the Falcons return several key position players, including quarterback Nathan Garard, running back Jared Trantina and receivers Bryce Barnes and Ryland Holt.
“It’s exciting and we’ve been working pretty hard. Obviously it’s a different team and you’ve got to have a different mindset. Everybody’s different and every team is going to be different. You just have to adjust and do what works best for you.”
GCMS opens the season at Ford County rival Paxton-Buckley-Loda on Aug. 24.