SARCOXIE, Mo. — After last year’s 5-5 season, the Sarcoxie Bears will be fielding a younger team this year.
Justin Mandera, senior fullback/defensive end, says, “It’s definitely different, because I used to be the younger one on the varsity side, so they had to keep me up to speed, so it’s kind of like what they did to me, for the past few years. You just gotta bring them up and help them as much as you can.”
Though the young core of the Bears will likely be smaller than many opponents they’ll face, the team has been preparing for that all summer.
Russell Ellis, Sarcoxie head coach, says, “We’ve got a lot of speed and athleticism, with us running the triple option, hopefully we can get it to one of our dudes that can make plays for our team. We’re looking for guys up front to maybe take some steps forward who’re really young there, but that’s why we run the triple, so we don’t have to block everybody.”
Dylan Heckmaster, senior fullback/outside linebacker says, “The most we’ve worked on is our speed, agility, having fun, going to hit people, physicality, and finishing. Finishing drills, finishing conditioning.”
For the Bears, it’s about not looking too far into the future, but taking things on a week by week basis to make sure Friday’s game has their full attention.
Ellis says, “People ask me, ‘Coach, how’re you gonna be this year?’ We’re just trying to win the week, be 1-0 after Friday, and we’re just focused on getting to week one. That’s been our focus all summer, just get to week one, and take it a week at a time.”
Mandera says, “I usually try to take it week by week, whoever we play that week is my team to beat.”
The Bears will open their season this Friday at home against Houston.