“Solidifying the offensive line will be the biggest question going into the season,” Goessel High School head football coach Justin Coup said.
After finishing the season with an 8-2 record in 2007 and advancing to the bi-district game, the Bluebirds are hoping to surpass last year’s accomplishments.
Eight starters return for the Bluebirds in 11 positions.
Senior Craig Banman will use his speed in the defensive backfield and at the wide receiver position.
Nathan Walker, a 230-pound senior, will anchor the center of the defensive line. Travis Fensky also will use his speed at running back and defensive linebacker.
Kendall Voth returns for his senior season at offensive end and defensive back.
Austin Unruh will quarterback the team for the second consecutive year and play defensive back.
Niko Herman, an exchange student, is expected to contribute on the offensive line and play in the defensive backfield.
Two-hundred and thiry-pound junior Bryant Miller will be a main cog in the line on offense and defense.
Weston Hiebert, a junior, will contribute from the end position on offense and defense.
Another junior, Cameron Stultz, will be used as running back and in the defensive backfield.
Austin Cooper, junior, will contribute to the line on both offense and defense.
“Our five returning seniors will lead the team this year, all of which had significant roles on last year’s team,” coach Coup said.
The speed that the Bluebirds exhibited last year will help them on offense and defense again.
Eight-man football coaches know their teams are not very deep in a small school, so the Bluebirds hope that the experience they bring from last season will help them to a great start in 2008.
Coup is in his sixth year of coaching Goessel football and will be assisted by Chris Deniger and GHS grad Tyler Schroeder.
The schedule also will be new for the Bluebirds.
Nearby rival Canton-Galva has moved to the eight-man ranks and the Bluebirds are placed this year in a seven-team Division I, District 4.
“We have a tough row to hoe,” Coup said. “We are in the toughest (eight-man) district in the state.”
The Bluebirds will start the season with two non-district games, one at Centre and then home with White City.