BELVIDERE, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — At Belvidere this season it’s all about effort. The Bucs know that in order to compete with their larger rivals in the NIC-10 their effort level has to be all-out.
Last season the Bucs went 2-7. They’re hungry to improve on that.
“We’re angry. We’re ready to go,” said senior linebacker/running back Dillon Riedinger. “It’s kind of a revenge season for us I’d say. We’re all ready to get out there. We’re ready to hit hard, play hard, go hard.”
Wins and losses aren’t the Bucs’ primary focus though.
“We’re setting out with a goal to just be the best that we can,” said head coach Darin Wecker. “We’re not necessarily putting a tangible number on it. We’re not shooting for three, four, five, ten wins. We’re trying to just win the games that we can and then try to the win games that maybe we’re not supposed to, but more importantly, just get better as a team and do the best that we can; do our job.”
While Belvidere only has a total of five returning starters on both offense and defense they’re not worried. The guys put a heavier emphasis on strength and conditioning than most programs do, because they rely so heavily on every single one of their players to follow the all-hands-on-deck mentality.
“We’re going to need more than just our varsity guys,” said Wecker. “We’re not moving anybody up right now, but we need to also build for the future and make sure that our freshmen and sophomores are prepared as possible so that if something were to happen, those guys are ready to step in.”
“Some teams have maybe 30, 40 plus players (more) than us,” said senior Howard Goston. “We just gotta keep going ’til we can’t anymore.”
The competion for quarterback is on-going between Goston and fellow senior Durlin Lemke. One of them will be Austin Hausen’s replacement. Hausen threw for 1,169 yards last season.
“We’re just trying to do what’s best for the team. Whoever gets it, gets it,” says Goston of the quarterback competition.
“What I’m looking for them is just be fundamentally sound and understanding their progressions and understanding what they’re doing in the running game,” says Wecker. “And kind of commanding this team. Those are the big things I’m looking for.”
Some of the Bucs key weapons on offense include seniors Brandon Childers and Curtis Means. Defensively, there’s Jaxson Forman whom Reidinger says will be part of a group that’s going to shock the NIC-10.
“The whole defense, every single one of them’s a stud in my eyes,” says Reidinger. “We’re flyin’ around, we’re hittin’ hard!”