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North Has High Expectations

This could be the year that the Blue Thunder challenge for the top of the NIC-10.
BELVIDERE-This is the football season the Belvidere North Blue Thunder have been waiting for. A year when everything just might fall their way.

The Blue Thunder are all business. They’ve been building toward this season for the past several years ever since this year’s seniors went unbeaten as freshman.

"We’re taking everything serious this year," says receiver Kevin Tevebaugh. "There’s no looking back, because it’s our last year. We have 17 starters coming back this year, so we’re a senior-heavy team. So it’s kind of a last go. Make it one to remember kind of thing."

The Blue Thunder showed they were on the rise last year when they had Boylan on the ropes in week eight of the regular season, and then they played the Titans tough again in the opening round of the playoffs.

"Last year our goal was to go to the playoffs, and this year we want to go to the playoffs still, but we want to win conference," says quarterback Jace Bankord.

Bankord passed for almost 23 hundred yards last season, a NIC-10 record. Tevebaugh hauled in 47 passes. He led the conference in every major receiving category.

"I’m sure we’ll throw it around about as much, but we’ll have a solid running game this year too," says Tevebaugh.

Senior Scott Hornick will be North’s main rushing threat.

"I think we can do some different things with the kids we have on offense," says head coach Jeff Beck.

What gives North flexibility is its line. Four starters are back, and they’re big. 6-3 270 pound Justin Rosendahl leads the way.

"We want to be more balanced, and I think having those kids up front back with a little experience is going to make them that much better," says Beck.

"We’re a lot more physical than we were last year, so we should be able to pound it down," says Tevebaugh.

The keys for North will be consistency and having a defense that can stop opponents from scoring.

"I was happy with some of the strides we made last year," says Beck. "We know we can play defense. We just have to be more consistent."
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