Kroner's football tour '14: Mahomet-Seymour
MAHOMET — The net gains within the Mahomet-Seymour football program are represented by more than strength gained in the weight room.
They are also seen in the number of participants. Despite losing a 17-member senior class last year, the Bulldogs have nearly 20 more squad members than they did in 2013.
Part of that is due to a 38-member freshman class.
Another part is due to transfers, as well as student-athletes at the school returning to the sport or deciding to take it up.
“We have a lot who haven’t played in a couple years who came back,” M-S coach Keith Pogue said.
Senior lineman Brayan Uribe is one of them. The 230-pound Uribe figures to be a fixture up front, along with two-way linemen Jordan Geese (285 pounds) and Andrew Franklin (248 pounds).
“We’re pretty big and really athletic,” Pogue said. “We’re back to where we were (size-wise) a few years ago.”
Senior Ian Belyea (220 pounds), who started some varsity games as a sophomore, and junior Matt Kumler (230 pounds) are among the others whose job will be to protect quarterback Joe Kenney, an All-Area second-teamer as a junior.
“Joe has always had leadership, but his game management has stepped up,” Pogue said. “He has the arm to hit all the routes, and he’s making great decisions.”
Kenney’s junior brother, Tom, will be one of his receiving targets, but there will be plenty of others running pass routes. Senior Andy Livingston, who also plays cornerback, junior Dominic Brackenhoff — a transfer from California — and junior Scott Metzger are in the mix. Pogue said Brackenhoff has “unbelievable hands.”
Senior Austin Hazelwood — a first-time football player — will be “a real plus,” Pogue said. The former soccer player is seeking a linebacking spot. Wrestler David Wisehart, who didn’t play football as a junior, hopes to see time at defensive end, one of the few positions where the coach said multiple players are being evaluated.
Former cross-country runner Jacob Keller, who came to football last year as a junior, senior Christian Ekhoff, who didn’t play football last fall, senior Christian Collins and sophomore Josh Powell are others vying for positions held by seniors last year.
“We have good athletes and a lot of competition,” Pogue said.
Running backs Thomas Bane and Boyd Roberts will be two of the linebacking stalwarts.
Coach: Keith Pogue, seventh year
2013 record: 9-2
2014 roster size: 106
Home opener: Aug. 29, vs. Mount Zion, 7 p.m.