With practice slated to begin in just over a month, Kansas High School officials are balancing a coaching change at the helm of the football roster.

Steve Patterson, the head coach for the last three years, has resigned to accept a job in Carl Junction, Missouri.

His assistant, Jimmy Dushane, has since been promoted to fill his spot for the immediate future.

"It happened so late in the year that we are putting him as interim head coach for this season and then we will go back and reevaluate the position at the end of football season," Kansas Superintendent Jim Burgess said. "This kind of caught us off guard."

For Dushane, accepting the position was the right thing to do. 

"I just thought it would be a great fit," Dushane said. "I am already here and I know the kids. In the process of getting ready for the season to start, I have taken the team over."

An assistant coach at Kansas for two years, Dushane came to Kansas after coaching stints at in Fox, Fairland, Commerce Oklahoma schools, as well as Diamond, Missouri.

Dushane said he plans to lead the team forward. 

"My goal for this football season it to get better each week," Dushane said. "But also the ultimate goal is to win some football game.

"We have been lifting and running three days a week. We have been to the passing league for the last four weeks and we went to a team camp this summer. The same thing everyone else is doing this time of year."

Both the passing league and team has been important to the Comets.

"The team camp put us in a process to see what we needed to work on this summer," Dushane said. "We had good things and we had bad things. We know there are things we need to work on and there were things I thought we did very well."

Dushane said the passing league, which took place the past four weeks in Locust Grove, gave Comets quarterbacks and skill players a chance to get their timing and accuracy down. The camp included the Comets, the Pirates, as well as students from Colcord, Haskell and Porter. 

"The passing league helped us to communicate with each other better," Dushane said. "We are still young and the more reps we get the better it makes our kids."

Ultimately, Dushane said there's more to the sport than winning games. 

"I want to help make young men out the football players," Dushane said.

The Kansas football team will begin practice on Monday, Aug. 7 with the season set to begin on Friday, Aug. 25 when the team travels to Oklahoma Union in Nowata County.

The team will have a bye week on Friday, Sept. 1, before traveling to Wyandotte on Friday, Sept. 8.

The home opener, against Westville, takes place on Friday, Sept. 15, while the first district game takes place on Friday, Sept. 22, at Victory Christian. Other districts games are Salina, Holland Hall and Chouteau at home. District road games include Ketchum and the South Delco Bowl to end the season at rival Colcord on Friday, Nov. 3.