Stanley, Cadott (WQOW) -- Cloverbelt Conference rivals Stanley-Boyd and Cadott are looking ahead to the 2017 season.
The Orioles have been one of the most consistent programs around the area, having made eleven trips to the WIAA playoffs in Jeff Koenig's thirteen seasons as head coach. Stanley-Boyd won a state title in 2013, and has made two other Level 4 appearances in the last three years, including 2016, when the Orioles had 18 seniors on the roster.
"We have about five starters returning on defense, and about four on offense, and it's just a huge loss with the people we lost last year, just with all the things they brought to the team, both their athleticism, their skills, and their leadership," Koenig says, "hopefully, the people coming back can help carry the weight of the team, hopefully, we've got some young guys stepping up and put their print on Stanley-Boyd football."
Under Koenig, the Orioles have employed an up-tempo offense, and that won't change, even with the roster turnover from last season.
"Same as always, pretty much, fast as we can," says Orioles senior running back/linebacker Ben Turner, "because we're not really the biggest team all the time but we've kind of got to wear teams down with our athleticism and speed and just get to the edge and hope we find a seam."
"Just getting everybody involved," says Stanley-Boyd senior halfback / safety Collin Meyer, "we need depth, we need the younger guys to step up, as you mentioned before, we had a strong senior class leave but we;re going to pick it up, and we're going to fill those spots, and it's going to be a great year."
Stanley-Boyd kicks off the season on Friday, August 18, when the Orioles travel to STRATFORD.
Just down Highway 29 in Cadott, the Hornets have begun year two under head coach Steven Mendel. Cadott won two games last season, and Mendel says this year's senior class has gotten some valuable experience at the varsity level.
"We had a lot of sophomores a couple years ago and we played them all, and now they're seniors," Mengel says, "they have a decent sized group here, about fourteen seniors, and we can throw the ball pretty well, we have a quarterback that's kind of been through the grind since his sophomore year, we're hoping to air it out a little bit more this year."
The senior class at Cadott includes a veteran quarterback in Mike Emery, who has started these past two years.
"This year we're kind of switching our offense up, it's going to be a lot of passing, I think like we did last year," says Emery, "we're speeding it up, a lot of no-huddle situations and it's going to be fast-paced."
"I knew him as a sixth-grader and he said, you know, I want to be the best high school quarterback that I can be," says Mengel, "and so now, six years later, here he is, he did all the camps, he's been in the weight room constantly, I couldn't have asked anything more than he's doing."
Cadott kicks off the season on Friday, August 18, when the Hornets visit Altoona.