After just one win in 2016 Freeport’s entering this new season with a new mindset.
“It gave us motivation. This season we’re starting off mentally tough,” says senior running back/safety Deion McShane.
This year the Pretzels are looking for better results. They’re hoping a crop of new players helps change things.
“Our junior class was very strong last year,” says head coach Aaron Wichman. “They finished 6-3 overall. Most of those guys, almost all of them are out this year. They’re not just skill heavy or line heavy. We’re balanced, and we haven’t had classes like that.”
Now they’re looking to make the transition to varsity beginning with new starting quarterback and all-state wrestler Major Dedmon.
“He’s very coachable,” says Wichman. “He’s a good athlete. He can run the ball as well. The thing though I probably like the most is the leadership. Guys just naturally follow him.”
“I’m very comfortable with the plays we’re running,” says Dedmon. “I’m able get them down, and know them fast. So you know it comes easy.”
One player that will help Dedmon make the transition to varsity is senior playmaker Deion McShane. The State Champion hurdler finds himself in a leadership role this season.
“I’ve got to be a leader. I mean we all a family, but still I got be a leader for my friends, and never go 1-8 again. That’s for sure.”
McShane will also hold down the team’s secondary. While senior Dejuan Shird will lead the linebackers with Zach Vandenburgh now playing at Illinois State. Freeport likes to hang it’s hat on speed and athleticism, but they also have seriously size in the trenches with Julius Winston and Tim Grandy.
The Pretzels know going 9-0 isn’t on the menu this fall, but they won’t repeat last season either.
“We think we can be competitive in every game, and that’s what we really look at,” says Wichman.