Wildcat football team reloads for 2021 season

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Wildcat Photo

Senior Tyler Schultze holds the ball for senior Luke VanBooven as he kicks a field goal during a game against Lawrence Free State High School on Sept. 4, 2020.

Emma Klingler, Arts/Entertainment Editor

The De Soto High School football program has been preparing diligently for this year’s season. Some changes are occurring this year that are to be expected, while some are unique.

One change is that the football stadium has been re-done, with a new set of bleachers which will allow all fans to attend, as well as seat the full DHS Pep Band comfortably. 

One consistent obstacle with each year of football is the loss of the preceding senior class. This is a concern to some, as there are many things that seem to be unknown about the season.

“We lost a lot of seniors on both sides of the ball, so we have a lot of new guys coming up and getting on varsity,” senior Julyan Foss said, “so we have a lot of unanswered questions on both sides of the ball.”

However, Foss firmly believes that the team will overcome this obstacle and create a successful season.

2021 graduate Jackson Miller hands the ball off to senior Bryson Brummer during a game against Basehor-Linwood High School on Sept. 18, 2020. (Wildcat Photo)

“The coaches always say we don’t rebuild; we reload,” Foss said. “For myself, I had two great seniors; Hayden Henderson and Austin Tabor. They taught me the best things that I could do so I’m trying to do them to the best of my ability,” Foss said.

While the loss of so many talented players is a concern to some, it also serves as an opportunity for other players to grow their skills and step up to help the team. 

In order to adequately prepare newer players for future games, the team participated in a pre-season scrimmage on Friday, Aug. 27. This helps the team play out game-time scenarios and make any necessary adjustments for the upcoming season.

“The main goal is to give kids lots of reps where we can evaluate what we have and where to place people as far as depth charts,” head coach Brian King said.

After having the scrimmage, the team is looking forward to what this season will bring. Senior Tyler Schultze, the team’s quarterback, is excited to see how the offense will play this year.

“There are lots of fresh faces there, and they’re really big, so it should be a good year up front for them,” Schultze said.

Schultze is also looking forward to seeing how the underclassmen step up to keep the momentum going from previous years.

“We have lots of talented underclassmen who are going to step up and really help our team thrive and continue the success that we have had,” Schultze said.

Overall, the Wildcat football team is greatly looking forward to the 2021 season. The Wildcats open their season at Turner High School on Friday, Sept. 3, followed by their first home game on Sept. 10 against Blue Valley Southwest High School.