Stillman Has High Hopes Again

STILLMAN VALLEY-The Cardinals are only nine months removed from their latest, and perhaps most thrilling State Championship victory. A title game where Zac Hare capped off a great career by rumbling for four touchdowns. Hare and several other key Cardinals are gone, but the Cardinals won't be hurting for replacements. Their juniors went undefeated as sophomores last year. That group could turn out to be special.

"I think a lot of times you feel like maybe you have something pretty good, but you really don't know until they get under fire. Until they go against somebody pretty good of just exactly how you react on Friday nights," says head coach Mike Lalor.

The Cardinals have several backs that'll contribute this year. Mark Stokes, Ethan Roberts, Austin Atchison, Seth Vanbriesen and Micah Castronovo are a few of them. Senior Logan Byers takes over as the Cardinals option quarterback.

"I think he's going to do a real nice job. He started one game last year, and played in quite a few others," says Lalor.

"I think we've got a lot of weapons. More than just one or two. We have a lot of weapons this year," says Byers. "We'll be able to use them all."

"I think it'll be mostly a group, a group effort from our offense with the kids rotating in a lot, so I think we'll be pretty solid this year," says VanBriesen.

Leading players on the lines for the Cardinals will be Marcus Bower, and Connor Englekes.
There's depth here. There's talent here. And these kids know how to win whether it's on the varsity or sophomore level. So what will be the keys for the Cardinals this season?

"I think it's just how quickly the junior-senior mesh comes together," says Lalor. "I think we're going to be playing quite a few from both classes in a nice mix. And I think it's just a matter of how mentally tough do you become during those first games. How do you handle adversity when things go wrong."

Before practice starts we set a couple of goals and State is always one of them," says Byers. "But once practice starts we don't really think about that. We just think about getting better every day."

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