FREEPORT, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF)–Freeport is coming into the 2022 season with a clean slate, and fifth year head coach Anthony Dedmond is ready for it.

“Last year we had a couple of losses we maybe shouldn’t have had, and we are hoping to capitalize and gain those this year and get over the hump.”

Last year’s 3-6 team was young, led by mostly sophomores.

“They are getting older, quarterback is getting better,” said Dedmond. “We have new guys coming in making an impact.”

And that quarterback Xzaveon Segner is getting better. He’s coming into his senior season stronger and ready to lead.

“He’s improved so much, gotten so much better,” said Dedmond. “Becoming a leader, a little bit more day by day.”

“I gained 15 pounds over this last offseason, and I think that my physical ability is going to set the mark,” said Segner.

Xzaveon will have some weapons surrounding him in wide receiver Dedric Macon and running backs Ryan Coon and Denarius Jackson.

“Dynamic duo, oh man!,” said Jackson. “We are going to be pretty tough out there.”

Macon is coming off a standout sophomore season. He led the team in receiving with 430 yards and a 21 average per catch.

One of the most important units for the Pretzels this season is their offensive line.

“Our line is so much better,” said Dedmond. “We give credit to those skill players, but our line is probably the heartbeat of our whole team.”

“They all got bigger, stronger, faster,” said Segner. “I think that’s our key, because we have so many more linemen now this year that it’s going to be fun.”

The O-line is led by seniors Landen Stewart and Landen Garnhart along with Sami Odeh and Payton Eggie.

Freeport returns 13 starters on both sides of the ball to the roster. Segner said he’s going to be the quarterback to help end the Pretzels’ 13-year playoff drought, and bring them back in the conversation in the NIC-10.

“I want to be the first quarterback to take Freeport to the playoffs in a long time.”