Prep sports coordinator Fred Kroner is checking up on area teams leading into Opening Night.
MAHOMET — The high school football team has been a playoff regular for more than a decade. Eleven consecutive Mahomet-Seymour squads have qualified for the postseason.
This year, the Bulldogs hope to take the next step. Four M-S teams in a row and eight of the last 11 have exited the IHSA second season after the first round.
Coach Keith Pogue’s current team will build around a group of 25 lettermen, a total which includes nine starters back on defense and seven on offense.
Several of the athletes are ones who are prominent in multiple sports. Quarterback Joe Kenney missed 1,000 passing yards last year as a sophomore by 11. In the spring, he was on the All-Area baseball first team, as was Cully Day, a senior receiver who hauled in 20 passes last fall. Junior lineman Jordan Geese was a regional wrestling champion last winter at 285 pounds. Ian Belyea and Scottie Rotramel are other wrestlers who placed among the top four in their weight classes at regionals.
Basketball player Grant Farchmin was an All-Corn Belt first-team linebacker a year ago and is regarded by some league coaches as the top returning defensive player. The Bulldogs’ linebacking corps features a strong group. Other returnees who earned postseason recognition from the Corn Belt last year as underclassmen are Thomas Bane and Daniel Roberson, who also played basketball. Senior Chandler Stranc is a highly regarded defensive lineman.
“Team depth is our biggest concern,” Pogue said. “Injuries could devastate us in a hurry.”
M-S opens its season Aug. 30 with a non-conference game at Mount Zion.
— Fred Kroner