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AOW: Buckner a measure of consistency for Wildcats

September 25, 2001|By ERIC GALVAN, Sports Writer
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When Brawley Union High School football player Andy Buckner prepares for a game, he doesn't really think about how many yards he's going to rack up or how many times he's going to reach pay dirt.

One of the things he does is tell himself to do the best he can.

That humbleness has resulted in some big numbers this year. On Saturday, he rushed for 139 yards and scored three touchdowns in Brawley's 41-7 thrashing of Clairemont High.

While he is one of the players who gets a lot of the credit for the team's wins, he thinks the credit should go elsewhere.

"All the credit has to go to the line. Any time anything happens on the field, all that is on the line," said the 17-year-old Buckner, a senior. "They open up the holes and they're the ones that make things happen. We couldn't do anything without them."

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While Buckner would rather downplay his accomplishments, he has been one of the most consistent players for Brawley.

In the opening game against Indio High, he rushed for 54 yards and scored two touchdowns. He followed that with an 81-yard rushing performance with one score against Palm Desert.

One things he credits for his improvement is the team's opening 22-13 loss to Indio.

"I think against Indio, we just didn't prepare ourselves mentally for that game," said the 6-foot-1, 195-pound Buckner. "But I think after that loss we all realized that we had to buckle down and prepare mentally for each game.

"Even though we've won these last two games, there is still lots of room to improve. We're nowhere near where we want to be," said Buckner. "I think we're all kind of tired of hearing people talk about how much potential we have. Now we just have to step up and keep it going."

It's Buckner's attitude of never being satisfied and always wanting to improve that Wildcat coach John Bishop says gives him good leadership qualities. That and the fact that he puts the team before himself.

Said Bishop: "He's just a good team player. He does what you tell him to do and doesn't complain about anything. You tell him to adjust to something and he does it … he just does his job. Buckner is just a good leader."

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