With a solid core of returning starters, the Goessel football team will try to exceed last year?s success under the direction of second-year coach Garrett Hiebert.
The Bluebirds, who finished last season with a 6-4 record, return six starters this year.
Senior starters include: Brian Hiebert, a 6-foot-3, 200-pound offensive lineman and defensive lineman; Mark Schmidt (5-10, 190) at fullback and linebacker; Zach Showalter (5-9, 195) at end and defensive line; and Reece Hiebert (6-2, 200), who will contribute on the offensive and defensive lines.
Two juniors return as starters: running back and linebacker Kellen Froese (5-9, 190); and offensive lineman Connor Davis (6-0, 190).
?We also have many returners who did not start last year that I expect to contribute quite a bit this year,? Hiebert said. ?These players include Michael Rhoades, Lucas Hiebert, Chase Flaming, Luke Unruh and Matt Regier.
?All of these players have improved greatly since last year, and I am excited to see what they can do this year.?
Hiebert said he is excited about the incoming freshman class.
?We have a group of guys who enjoy playing football and are committed to getting better,? he said. ?I look for Josh Schmidt, Trevor Beisel, Kenny Hammond and Miguel Guerrero to fight for playing time and provide much-needed depth for us.?
Having a core of experienced returners will be a strength for the Bluebirds this season.
?We have a good group of guys returning who have seen quite a bit of time at the varsity level over the last few years,? Hiebert said. ?I think that our experience as a whole will help make up for our inexperience at a few positions.?
Speed may be a challenge this year.
?We will have good team size, but we will not be the fastest team,? Hiebert said. ?We will have to work together on defense to contain our opponents? best offensive players.
?The main challenge for us this year will be overcoming adversity when we encounter it. How we perform in pressure situations and close games will determine how far we go this year.?
Looking ahead to league competition, Hiebert said: ?With our seven-team district, we only see three league opponents all year. If we play up to our potential, I believe we can finish among the top three teams in the Wheat State League.?
With team goals in place, Hiebert is confident the Blue?birds can improve on last year?s success through hard work.
?I?m optimistic about our upcoming season,? he said. ?We had a pretty good year last year. We?re hoping to build on that and repeat and exceed last year?s success.
?None of this will happen without hard work each and every day. We?ve set team goals, and we know we can?t achieve them without striving to improve every day.?