The T-shirts at practice say it all. "New Year. New Team. New Beginning." Former Durand assistant Eric Bergin is the head coach trying to get this program back off the ground.
"I look for, like every coach, kids to go full speed who want to be out here. Out here trying to make it work and get themselves on the field. Someone who’s going to go fast and hit somebody," says Bergin.
As the physical education teacher last year at Pecatonica, Bergin roamed the building trying to drum up interest in football. It worked. Pecatonica’s freshman-sophomore team last year had 14 kids. (Pec. did field a fresh-soph. team). There are 35 kids out this year freshmen through seniors.
"So that’s almost a small, very small victory in itself," says Bergin.
"The students are real excited," says running back/linebacker Alex Thayer. "The town’s excited to have a program back out this year."
"It’s awesome. All of our friends are really excited to come out and see us play," says lineman Colin Viel.
The Indians believe they can be competitive after those 14 sophomores last year won four games.
"It gives us a lot (of confidence) going into this season knowing it kind of proves people wrong what we can do," says Thayer.
The Indians have some speed led by Thayer. He was the NUIC runner-up in the 100 meter dash in track last spring. Ryan Swanson, Payton Elliott and Mitchel Mulcahey also have good speed. And fullback Davin Frye has size.
"We can run a little bit, so we’re going to be jet-rocket getting outside and trying to get up field," says Bergin.
So what are Pecatonica's expectations this season?
"Come out and do our best. Hopefully along the way steal a couple wins from a couple big teams and establish Pecatonica football again," says Viel.