MILFORD — The family concept is emphasized within a lot of athletic teams. The Milford/Cissna Park football program has turned the idea into reality.
The team has four captains. Two are brothers, Josh and Jacob Marquez. Two are cousins, Jake and Tyson Rogers.
“I let the players vote at the end of summer,” coach Clint Schwartz said. “I told them I didn’t care about classes; whoever they thought were the best leaders.”
The Bearcats wound up with two seniors (Josh Marquez and Tyson Rogers) and two juniors.
“So far, so good,” Schwartz said.
MCP retains a veteran team, featuring eight starters on offense and seven on defense.
“The strength of our team will be the leadership and experience we have,” Schwartz said. “We have high expectations, but a lot of that the kids put on themselves.”
The Rogers cousins and Josh Marquez are returning two-way starters. Jacob Marquez is back at quarterback. Two other returning two-way starters are Ben Henrichs and Devon Laubscher.
Jake Rogers was the team’s tackling leader in 2012 with 85 stops. Laubscher was the top rusher (803 yards); Jacob Marquez passed for 884 yards.
In all, Schwartz starts his second stint as head coach with 40 prospects, 14 of whom are lettermen.
An assistant coach last year, Schwartz implemented some changes.
“Kids moved to different positions, and the players bought into the new system,” he said.
MCP, which recently had a play clock installed at its field, opens the season on Aug. 30 at Tri-County.