Blue Thunder Ready To Rumble Again


Belvidere North will be moving the chains a lot this year. The Blue Thunder return eight starters on their option offense including the guy who’s made for the option quarterback Bennett O’Connell thanks to his quick feet and his decision-making.

“He’s electric when he gets the ball in his hands,” says North coach Jeff Beck. “You saw that last year. He was a 900 yard rusher.”

O’Connell will be the straw that stirs the Blue Thunders’ drink, but he’ll have plenty of help from returning running back Jason Rodgers. He ran for almost one thousand yards last season.  

“Our offensive group upstairs, like mentally is, we’re way past where we were last year and that’s huge for us for what we’re doing in our scheme,” says O’Connell.

Speaking of huge how about an offensive line that includes 250 pound right tackle Cam Lundquist and 265 pound Ben Walbaum at right guard, and All-Conference 310 pound center Joshua Shableau.

“I’ve been moving, focusing on my speed,” says Shableua. ‘Last year I felt like I was a little bit slow. This year I’ve been mainly trying to focus on speed and trying to get up and get in those blocks.”

“He’s a true mauler. He’s a big, physical kid,” says Beck.

The defense has more question marks than the offense has.  Only four starters return on that side. The upside is more size over there than North had last year.

“We are a little bit bigger than we were last year,” says Beck. “Last year I think our heaviest guy on defense was about 195 pounds. He was our middle linebacker. So we are a little bit bigger defensively this year which makes us a little bit more stout.”


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