Hometown coach looks to launch Bluebirds? flight



The Goessel football team is hoping for a fresh start this season with first-year coach Tyler Schroeder, who returns to his hometown after playing football at Bethel College.

Goessel is looking to improve on a 3-6 finish last season, banking on experience and new ideas to make them a threat in the Wheat State League.

?This season we return a focused group of athletes that are ready to play,? Schroeder said. ?Our strength this year is on the offensive and defensive line and we look to speed and quickness to fill in at other key positions.?

Returning starters for the Bluebirds include seniors Joe Campbell, a 5-foot, 10-inch senior at offensive and defensive line, and Drake Sterk, a 6-foot senior who returns to the offensive line and as a linebacker.

Juniors Trey and Alex Schmidt also return, Trey at quarterback, linebacker and defensive back, and Alex on the offensive and defensive line.

Sophomore Nic Buller is also a returning starter. In addition, the Bluebirds will count on four returning letter-winners: juniors Bruce Benjamin and Shane Goerzen and sophomores Brian Hiebert and Mark Schmidt.

?The leadership provided by upperclassmen is key to success,? Schroeder said. ?On the offensive side of the ball, Trey Schmidt will lead the attack at quarterback and will have strong support in receivers led by Nic Buller.

?Joe Campbell and Bruce Benjamin will anchor the offensive line and will provide experience and leadership.

?Other spots are open and a talented group of newcomers are competing.?

Schroeder said the defense will be anchored by Alex Schmidt, Drake Sterk and Trey Schmidt.

?Look for newcomers to step up early,? Schroeder said.

Top newcomers include Peter Voth, a 5-11 first-year senior on the offensive and defensive lines, and Zach Showalter, a 5-7 sophomore linebacker.

?This year we face a schedule full of tough, physical teams, including Little River, Peabody and Central Plains,? Schroeder said.

?To be successful, we will have to come up and hit on every down. After a 3-6 season last year, this group has prepared for the challenges ahead and is ready to compete in every game and make it out of district competition.?

The Bluebirds are scheduled to kick off their season Sept. 2 at Wakefield.

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