The Goessel High School Bluebirds will return half their starters from last year’s team, and look to improve upon a 2-7 record from a year ago.
Head coach Garrett Hiebert enters his third season at the helm. After experiencing success in year one, his team struggled a year ago.
Led by quarterback Chase Flaming, who returns for his junior season, the Bluebird rushing attack will be back. Running backs sophomore Miguel Guerrero and senior Kellen Froese return 1,083 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns between them. Flaming adds another 385 yards and 10 touchdowns. Paving their way again this season will be senior Connor Davis. The rest of the offense will be new starters.
On defense, defensive backs Lucas Hiebert and Trevor Beisel return, along with Guerrero and Froese, who both played linebacker.
Hiebert touted freshman Jordan Griffin, a tight end, running back, and defensive lineman, as the team’s “top newcomer.” Griffin could give the Bluebirds an aerial threat.
Other players that could be looked at to step into prominent roles are juniors Luke Unruh and Matt Regier, and sophomores Kenny Hammond and Josh Schmidt.
After an 0-4 league campaign last year, Hiebert stressed the importance of early success .
“Early in the season, it will be important for us to experience success and build momentum for district play,” he said.
“We will need to find the best player to fit in each position so that we will give ourselves the best chance to win.”
With the running attack from last year returning strong, it will be the defense that will need to prove itself. Hiebert said he believes that’s where his team’s success will start.
“We need to stop the run and prevent big plays,” he said. “We have a lot of young players who gained experience last year on defense, and I expect big improvement from them.”
Goessel begins its season with a game at Peabody-Burns on Sept. 5. Hiebert said the team’s goals for the season are to develop great team chemistry, work hard, and get better every day.
“Ultimately, our goal is to qualify for the state playoffs, but we will not accomplish this without meeting many other smaller goals,” he said.