Varsity Football Gears Up for Season

The Little Hawks look to find success in a season rife with new faces.

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Varsity Football Gears Up for Season

Bryce Hunger '18 waits for instructions from the coaches as his teammates look on.

Bryce Hunger '18 waits for instructions from the coaches as his teammates look on.

Bryce Hunger '18 waits for instructions from the coaches as his teammates look on.

Bryce Hunger '18 waits for instructions from the coaches as his teammates look on.

Dylan Ryfe, Reporter

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After a loss in the quarterfinals during the MVC last year, the City High men’s varsity football team is shaking up the formula for the season ahead.

“With this team, as inexperienced as we are, our approach has been a little different,” Coach Dan Sabers said. “We’re just taking it game by game.”

Despite the Little Hawks’ impressive last season (raising the Boot and making it to the quarterfinals), the team has lost all of their powerhouse seniors they had last year, making their approach more slow and methodical than before. However, Coach Sabers says that the team still has the playmakers they need, keeping the core offense intact.

Last year’s team was headstrong and impactful, averaging 31 points per game and only allowing  22 points. Although the team graduated a majority of their starting squad, the coaches remain optimistic about the year ahead.

“Basically everybody is new,” Coach Casey said. “We’re just coaching those guys up and making everybody better. We just have to keep making progress each week.”

To get ready for the season ahead, the team has focused on identifying and fixing the small mistakes, hoping that towards the end of the season all of the pieces will fall into place.

“At this point, all of the things we weren’t doing well [against Linn-Mar] can be fixed,” Coach Sabers said. “We aren’t a big team, so we have to utilize our other strengths. Our offensive line doesn’t measure up, we have the smallest in 4A football, and since they aren’t very big up front it’s always a concern.”

This season the coaches are expecting the big playmakers like Zach Jones ‘18,  Bryce Hunger ‘18, and Devontae Foster ‘18 to be a driving force in the mostly unseasoned team.

According to Coach Casey however, the formula for offense and defense has mostly gone unchanged, leaving room to work on other areas like conditioning and sharpening up the playbook.

“For the most part [our defense] is the same as normal,” Casey remarked. “We make slight adjustments each year to fine tune our playbook, say if we have better running backs we run the ball more or if we have better wide receivers we would pass more, but in general, it’s pretty similar to most years.”

The Little Hawks started their season with a win against Linn-Mar two weeks ago, beating them 26-13. Last week they suffered a defeat against Pleasant Valley 35-0 but will get a chance to avenge that loss at Ames this Friday, September 8.

“If we keep getting better each game, you’ll be amazed at what we can do at the end of the year,” Coach Casey said.