BROOKINGS, SD -
11AA football is wide open this year and several teams believe they have a shot at a title with many of the bigger schools out of the way. With eight starters returning on both sides of the ball, Brookings is one of those schools looking to make a run.
The Bobcats are still young with only ten seniors but the guys gained valuable experience last season with a lot of sophomores filling key roles. Brookings finished 5-6 a year ago before falling to Washington in the quarterfinals.
"I think it means a ton. You can't stress enough when you have guys that already know what's going on. We had a lot of sophomores last year that played that are now juniors, on the line especially. Myself, a couple other seniors have been on varsity since sophomore year. It just helps a lot when we bring a lot of experience up to the field," senior Tyler Madler said.
The Bobcats will enter their second season under head coach Lee Schmidt. While there is a quarterback competition going on between juniors Tyler Hanson and Carter Gordon, running back Cody Shepardson knows the rushing game will be a big focus once again.
"Spread, get them out and just pound it. I like it. Athletic and big and just run over people and hope for the best I guess," Shepardson said.
Other key players for Brookings include running backs Devon Crandall and Dayton Bender along with defensive end R.J. Helsper. Brookings opens the season in Huron on August 31st.
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