POPLAR GROVE, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — The North Boone Vikings were the top team in the Big Northern Conference during last year’s shortened season, but as they head into 2021, there’s a fresh face in charge. First year head coach Ryan Kelley.
“It’s a good feeling just to be back out here and have some normalcy,” said Kelley. “A lot of these kids I’ve coached and taught for many years so it’s fun to be able to be out here with them.”
Having those previous relationships made the transition a lot smoother, especially for offensive lineman, senior Bryce Nolen.
“He’s a good coach I really like him,” said Nolen. “He’s new with the guys and younger so he understands what we understand. Everything was just easy for him.”
Another new addition will be junior quarterback Chandler Alderman who is replacing Logan Emmanuel who was a two-year starter and first team all-conference selection before graduating last spring.
“Logan was a big part of our program because he was quarterback for two years, but Chandler’s got the arm, Chandler’s got everything Logan had, but we’ve just got to teach him some,” said Nolen. “Get the ball out, let’s run it a little bit, throw the long ball and see what we can do.”
And when it comes to the long ball, there’s nobody better than senior wideout Will Doetch. In 2020, Will averaged just over 26.5 yards per reception, and caught 10 touchdowns in just four games.
His younger brother Chris, who is a sophomore will also be a vital piece of the offensive puzzle.
“Oh, they’re huge,” said Nolen.” Chris is our running back, he’s going to hopefully draw them off Will and let Will run by everybody and catch it in the end zone.”