Leading into the 2016 season, the Perrysbug had not lost a league game in four years. But the Yellow Jackets, who graduated a ton of talent in 2015 and was riddled with injuries throughout the season, finished with a disappointing 6-4 record and missed out on the playoffs.
But many of those players that suffered unfamiliar defeat last year are back and hungry for a playoff run.
“It’s a two-way street,” said head coach Matt Kregel. “We’ve got a lot returning, but we’re still really young. We’ve got a bunch of juniors who were forced into action as sophomores. And the great thing for us as coaches is when we started running plays and doing things that are a little bit technical, these guys picked right up, they knew what they were doing. So that youth, it was great that they got the experience and got beat up a little bit last year, they know what they’re going to get through."
Besides Drew Sims returning to the pocket for his sophomore year, Kregel says his team had a great off-season. He says he is already seeing difference it’s making here in week one.
“These guys aren’t used to being 6-4,” Kregel said. “So they kicked it in right off the bat. We had a very positive, great off-season. And now we’re just doing what our system dictates. We’ve been doing this a long time, our kids know how things go during two-a-days and they’ve picked up and done a great job so far.”
For the seniors, they want to make sure they don’t look too far ahead.
“We’re just focused on getting better every day, working hard, and we’ve definitely learned a lot from last year,” said senior wide receiver and safety Brady Thomas.
“Right now we’re trying to take it a day at a time,” said senior wide receiver Ty Bezek. “Get better every day and focus on that, and we want to have a good year this year.”
Perrysburg kicks off its season at home with Dublin Coffman.