Seven returning starters will anchor the Goessel football team this season for eighth-year coach Garrett Hiebert. The Bluebirds will seek to build on last year’s 4-5 record.
“In the past couple of years, we have had many young players gain important Friday night experience,” Hiebert said. “Our senior and junior classes are not big, but many of them have two or three years of starting experience. We will count on them to provide leadership and maturity from the beginning of the season.”
That list begins with three returning senior starters.
Dylan Lindeman returns to solidify the offense at quarterback. The 6-foot, 2-inch, 165-pound senior will also contribute at defensive back.
Senior Jacob Hagewood (5-9, 165) returns at running back and linebacker, while senior Luke Freeman (5-7, 145) returns with starting experience on the offensive and defensive lines.
Four juniors round out Goessel’s returning starters: Luke Wiens (5-8, 165) at tight end, quarterback and linebacker; Kale Funk (5-8, 145) at tight end, running back and defensive back; Eddie Gaeddert (6-2, 180) on the offensive and defensive lines; and Nate Zogleman (6-0, 140) at tight end and defensive back.
The Bluebirds will rely on younger athletes to complete the team.
“A major challenge for us this year will be to develop new varsity players in the freshman and sophomore classes,” Hiebert said. “In the first month of the season, we must have some sophomores make the jump up to major playing time on Friday nights. I also expect that some of our freshmen will be able to earn some varsity playing time as well.”
Hiebert said the Bluebirds seek to create a culture that focuses on team successes.
“We will continue to build an atmosphere where each player is invested in the success of each of their teammates just as much as they are invested in their own success,” Hiebert said. “The idea that individuals succeed only when the team succeeds is important to us.”
Keys to success for the Bluebirds this season include precision and continued work in the weight room.
“Another goal of ours is to strive for precision in everything that we do—academics, warm ups, every rep at practice and every play on Friday nights,” Hiebert said. “We need to get bigger, faster and stronger if we want to reach our goals. I am excited for us as a team and individuals to break through barriers and get better every day as we work towards our goals.”
Coming—Goessel will host Moundridge Friday in its season-opener.