Fort Scott‘s new head coach, Bo Graham, takes over from Bob Campbell after serving as an assistant coach for the previous 15 seasons. Graham, a member of the Tigers’ 2000 Class 4A State champion team, will be building a varsity lineup nearly from scratch this season but that doesn’t mean the bar will be lowered.

Our team goals have been the same as they have been for the past 25 years,” Graham says. “We want to compete in every game. And we want to win a league and state championship.”

The defending Southeast Kansas League champion Tigers finished 7-3 last season with a second-round playoff loss at Basehor-Linwood.

Graham, like the majority of his assistant coaches, are Fort Scott natives who grew up watching the Tigers before they ended up playing for them in high school.

It has been a dream of mine to lead the program that I have followed since I was a boy,” Graham says. “This program has helped mold me into the man and coach I am today, and I want to do the same for every kid who comes through our program.”

There are just two players returning on each side of the ball. Junior Greyson Quick will anchor the offensive line. Senior C.J. Horton was the Tigers’ second-leading receiver last season with 21 catches for 258 yards and three touchdowns, earning an Honorable Mention spot on the All-SEK team.

Will Wunderly, a junior, played some snaps at quarterback last season as the backup but did not attempt a pass. Cooper Bradbury, another junior, is the leading returning rusher, third on the team last season with 229 yards with four touchdowns.

Defensively, Hunter Zubieta, a senior who made 46 tackles last season, is back at linebacker, Miles Bowman, a junior,is on the line and Brody Bowles, a senior, returns in the defensive backfield.

The Tigers lost a large and talented senior class and will need many players to step up. Many times in the past, Fort Scott has been in this position Other seniors looking to move up and contribute include running back/defensive back Connor Fess, tight end/defensive end Jacob DeLaTorre, two-way linemen Hollis Reeves and Clayton Parker, and receiver/defensive back Caine Posa. Also joining the Tigers is senior RB/LB Andrew Reed, a transfer from Uniontown.

Graham’s first game as Fort Scott’s 33rd head coach — but just the fourth since 1989 — begins Friday, Sept. 6 at Coffeyville.