NEOSHO, Mo– Coming off their best season since 2018, the Neosho Wildcats are looking to surprise some people and are aiming high for success.

Head Coach Brandon Taute said, “We’ve heard a lot of people talking about, we’ve lost some athletes and some kids, and so they’ve kind of put a chip on their shoulder, a little bit”.

Entering this season, that’s the mindset the Neosho Wildcats are coming into this year with, and to prove to people that the loss of a few players doesn’t define this team’s destiny in 2023.

Senior Quarterback Quenton Hughes said, “We just want to prove that, you know, we’re all one group. You know, it doesn’t matter who you know, we have some good players. Yes. But, you know. As a whole we’ll beat teams that are just individuals”.

The Wildcats bring back their leading man and one of the top quarterbacks in the area in Quenton Hughes who threw for over 2800 yards and 28 touchdowns last season.

Coach Taute said, “He’s a coach on the field and I know a lot of people say that, but he really is. Any time that I make a call, I know that he knows exactly what I’m looking for. I know what he’s comfortable with. And we have a great relationship where we can bounce ideas off of each other”.

It will be by committee for the running backs with Denver Welch sticking out more and expecting to carry the load.

One of the weapons Hughes will have at his disposal is Cade Camerer, who is their top returning wide receiver. Now the chemistry between these two is already electric because it started at such a young age.

Hughes said, “We’ve been playing since, third grade on the same team. He’s always been my wide receiver since then. So it’s kind of one of those instincts where, you kind of struggle and just find Cade and he’ll make a play for you”.

On the offensive line, Neosho brings back three starters in Willy Velasco, Xavier Tomlinson and Tyce Hardin.

On defense, Neosho junior linebacker Trey Hardin burst onto the scene last year racking up 97 tackles as a sophomore and is now ready to lead the defense to becoming an elite group.

Junior Linebacker Trey Hardin said, “It’s going to take every play, you know, we can’t take any plays off. We just got to go work together, not just it doesn’t take one of us, it’s all of us”.

Korbyn York & Drake Swift will also contribute at the LB position.

In the secondary, they will be led by Bostyn Patterson, Brody Crane and Hudson Williams.

And the energy the Wildcats defense is playing with this season would be summed up in one word.

Hardin said, “Energy. We got to bring the energy every game”.

Now, Hardin believes these guys can go out and have a successful season due to the strong bond they’ve been able to create with each other.

Hardin said, “I feel like we’re close and we’ve been team bonding for a while and we’ve carried all of our brotherhood and everything. Our friendships from last year into this year. So I feel like we’re closer than ever”.

Neosho will open their 2023 season on the road when they travel to Willard on Friday, August 25th.