OREGON, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — Oregon High School’s football program has been winning at the lower levels in recent years. Now those young men have filtered up to the varsity level, which means the Hawks could be in for their best season in quite some time.

 When Broc Kundert took over as head coach at Oregon a year ago, he felt the Hawks could develop into a program that could once again compete for the upper echelon of the Big Northern Conference. The time might be now for the Hawks to contend for their first winning season at the varsity level since 2014.

“This conference is tough, but I think there’s kind of a good, I want to say maybe like three tiers of teams,” said Kundert. “There’s the top teams your Byron’s and your Stillman’s. Then there’s kind of a good clump in the middle, and we’re hoping to get to that middle part. I would like to think we’ll be very much improved, and just keep getting better.”

The players are convinced the Hawks will be greatly improved. One of those players is linebacker Anthony Bauer.

“I think we’re going to make a big jump from last year. Everybody’s been pretty excited, and every day come with a good mindset and just wanting to play.”

The Hawks return eight starters on their 3-4 defense including Bauer, their leading tackler last season.

“All our guys are pretty solid on defense, and we have a pretty big junior class that’s come in like fill in to give us more help,” said Bauer.

Senior linebackers Jackson Glendenning, Dalton McCammon and Trevor Burkhart provide more experience. 6’4 Josh Crandall will provide a push off the edge at defensive end.
Crandall will also keep opposing defenses on their toes when he lines up on offense at tight end.

Throwing Crandall the ball will be returning quarterback Jack Washburn. He passed for almost 700 yards last season giving the Hawks’ a balanced attack for the first time in a long, long time.

“It’s always good to have your quarterback coming back,” said Kundert.

At running back we’ll see Bauer, Noah Reber and McCammon. The anchor on the line will be 290-pound junior Briggs Sellers. He was second team all-conference last year. He’s expecting much better results for the team this season.

“It’s sure looking that way. You know, I got all my friends back with me. I think we’re all just excited to get back together and get the varsity program back to winning together.”

“Everybody I feel that’s here has bought into the process ever since we got here,” said Kundert. “I think that’s where the program starts to take off.”