Leonard has always felt right at home at Belvidere.
"This is where it all started for me. From the time I was five years old all I wanted to do was play here," says Leonard. "The day after I graduated I just wanted to coach here."
Now Leonard's dream is complete. He brings with him the spread offense that was run so successfully at Lutheran where Leonard was an assistant coach last year.
"It's a lot different offensively and defensively," says Belvidere running back and linebacker Jacob Fondrick. "Offense we run the spread. Last year we ran the pistol."
Other NIC-10 coaches are glad that four-year Belvidere quarterback Troy Vandenbroek has graduated. Replacing him is senior Garrett Hyser.
"He's been in the program for three years," says Leonard. "He started as a freshman at the freshman level, and as a sophomore at the sophomore level. Last year he sat behind Troy. He's got a good arm."
The primary weapon for the Bucs will be tailback Maurice Jackson one of the most athletic players in the conference. He's a threat to go the distance every time he touches the ball, and he'll touch it a lot.
"We're going to keep him moving around," says Leonard. "The majority of his snaps will be in the backfield. We will move him to the slot, X, or Z trying to find creative ways to get the ball in his hands."
Receiver Chris Colquette and sophomore Eric Munoz will also get their share of touches. Leonard is also high on his defense. A linebacker unit of Fondrick, Devon Dean and Jake Konaszewki could be one of the best in the Stateline.
"Our linebackers are really where we feel the most comfortable," says Leonard.
"We're confident in our ability, but we have a lot of work to put in still," says Fondrick.
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