Guilford Vikings Preview

Sports Connection

Every football season offers a fresh start for teams. For Guilford that goes double because of a new coaching staff led by Bruce Bazsali.

Bazsali has turned in his Lutheran purple for Guilford blue. Now in his 50th season of coaching he’s re-invigorated by a new challenge.

“Every time you make a change it does (re-invigorate). It’s’s starting over. It’s been a great summer and I’m excited!, says Bazsali.

So are his players.

“We’re just really enthusiastic,” says offensive tackle Nick Albers. “The coaches have a good record behind them, and we just hope we can translate that to the season.”

“Everthing has changed a lot, but it’s kind of what we’ve been needing,” says quarterback Julian Hayne. “We knew of his success at Lutheran and past years at other schools in the Chicago suburbs, so we had an idea of what was coming over.”

Five of Bazsali’s seven Lutheran teams made the playoffs. It took two years for him to get that program competitive.  He says the turnaround should be quicker at Guilford even though the Vikings won only one game last season.

“We’re pushing to be able to win right off the bat. We’ve got kids we can be competitive with. Lutheran was a whole different story. We had a lot of freshmen and sophomores playing.”

Guilford has a lot of experience back including it’s entire offensive line led by big center Noah Servy and right tackle Nick Albers.

“I think our line is one of the best lines in the NIC-10 right now,” says Albers. “We have all seniors on the line.”

Back for his third year at quarterback is recent Illinois State recruit Julian Hayne. He anticipates better production from himself this year.

“Honestly just being relaxed back there,” says Hayne. “In past years my sophomore, junior year even in practice I would not necessarily panic, but I felt rushed. Now I’m back there relaxed.”

Bazsali says the Vikings are deep are running back and receiver with returning players Elijah Brown, Seth Brumfield and Evan McNeely, and the addition of power back Derick Lowery and speedster Stephan Lindhe. The Vikings seem to have the offense to pull off Bazsali’s fast-paced spread attack.

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