Our series of high school football season previews shifts to two teams in the NUIC who are looking to build off improvements made in the last few seasons, both under the direction of head coaches entering their fourth season.
Eric Bergin's Pecatonica Indians did not field a varsity football team in 2013, and now enter their third year since that forfeited campaign. The senior class didn't get to play as freshmen, and are intent on ending a playoff drought in Pecatonica that stretches back to the 2005 season.
"This team has the potential to make the playoffs which is the ultimate goal for every team in the conference, I think we'll do something this town hasn't seen in ten years, I truly believe that," says senior linebacker and guard Garrett Mellentine.
On the other side of the NUIC, the Durand Bulldogs have ticked up under Dennis Schwab's guidance, winning four and three games the past two seasons after a winless season in 2013. Their numbers are down, and so is their size, but they're focused on technique and the small details needed to compete.
"They'll give every team a run for their money, they'll be exciting to watch," says Coach Schwab. "The seniors we have are a great group. They lead by example and it's a great influence on our underclassmen."