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Now showing at Buhach Colony: Iron Men

ATWATER -- Kyle Davey isn't your typical pretty-boy quarterback.

The Buhach Colony senior loves contact. He spent the bulk of his time last year playing defensive end.

So even though he enters this year as the starting quarterback, Davey plans get in some licks at safety.

"Quarterback is a unique position," Davey said. "You don't get to be mean.

"That's why I'm looking forward to still playing defense. That's where you get to smack some people around."

With a roster of only about 35 players at Buhach, Davey will be one of about seven or eight players playing both ways.

It's not a dream scenario for BC coach Kevin Swartwood.

"I'd like to tell you we'll be like Los Banos or Pitman and roll out a platoon with 11 starters on offense and 11 starters on defense," Swartwood said.

"That's not going to happen. We've really picked up the conditioning. We're running more than ever and we're lifting more than ever.

"The idea is to have 35 iron men to go against the teams that roll out 60 guys.

"That's what we have to do to compete."

Swartwood will count on players like Davey, running back David Campbell, lineman Roddy Dash and receiver Hodari Peterson.

All four could see action on both sides of the ball.

The players have spent their summer mornings running as many as 21 sprints of 110 yards each during the August heat.

"The conditioning program has been crazy," Davey said. "When we first started, we thought we were going to die out there.

"Our coaches told us each week the workouts would get harder but they won't seem as hard -- and it was true."

Buhach Colony hasn't had a winning season since the school opened in 2001, including a 2-8 season last year.

Getting kids to come out and make the commitment it takes to get the program headed in the right direction has been a tough task.

"They don't want to play football at Buhach Colony because of our past record," Campbell said.

"I'd rather play with guys that love the game. That's this group. Kids that don't want to come out and play, that's on them."

There could be help down the road, though.

The BC freshmen team went 9-0 last year.

Two players from that team -- Cory Chapman (running back) and Manuel Quiroz (center) -- will make the jump to varsity this season.

"Our school has never seen success like that," Swartwood said. "I thought I might bring up about six or seven.

"But the bottom line is they're still only 15 years old. The mental part of varsity football is pretty tough."

Swartwood has a lot of respect for the group he's got.

"Absolutely," the coach said. "If a kid came in (at the beginning of August) and wanted to play, I'd tell him it was too late.

"These are the guys that were out here this summer through blood, sweat and tears.

"I'll go to war with these guys any time."