ROCKFORD, Ill. — (WTVO/WQRF) Wins were sparse last season for Guilford. Neither the varsity team nor the sophomore team won a game. So the goals here for now are to simply take things one step at a time.
“We’ve been stressing the idea of a process, says second-year head coach Denny Diduch. If you do the process right the wins might not come right away, but they will eventually in the future.”
Diduch knows what it’s like to win games and finish on top. His Forreston teams won two state championships. Those Forreston teams were physical. That’s one missing ingredient at Guilford says Diduch.
“We’re redefining what football is here at Guilford and right now we need to be more physical.”
“We’re definitely trying to get our attitude better and our effort,” said senior tight end and safety Mason Green.
The most polished player on Guilford might be junior lineman Nathan Johnson. He is 6’5 285lbs which is actually leaner than he was last year. Diduch is impressed with Johnson.
“He had a great year for us as a sophomore. A big kid. He’s lost some weight. He really worked hard on his footwork and he should have a great year.”
Senior wingback Kevin Woods will be one of the Vikings’ playmakers on offense. Senior Mason Green is back to play tight end. The Vikings’ new quarterback is senior Amit Bisht. He has never player quarterback before. He was a receiver last year.
Bisht volunteered for the job. “I first told him (Diduch) I wanted to play it just because I know the team needed one, and I knew I could be the guy to step it up.”
“He won the job over the course of the summer with his work ethic and attendance,” said Diduch. “He’s the one that has most embraced our offense, and he’s getting better each day.”
Diduch sees positive signs in the program. 90 players are out for football at Guilford freshmen through seniors. The attitude and effort levels are improving, and while an 0-9 mark last year doesn’t look good, Diduch says it wasn’t as bad as it might appear on the surface.
“We lost a lot of close games last year. Five close games in my book, and if we just eliminate those things (mistakes) we can control we win those games.”