Blue Streaks football aiming for a fresh start
The Woodstock High School football team is looking for a new start after struggling last fall. The Blue Streaks lost their first six games of 2011 being outscored 180 to 62. However, they were able to reverse fortunes at the end of the season, winning two of the final three games – 15-14 over Hampshire and 21-15 over Johnsburg – and are hoping to carry the momentum into this season.
The Streaks finished last season 2-7 (2-4 in the Fox Valley Conference Fox Division). Head coach Steve Beard said in an email he is optimistic going into the season because “All players have improved their speed, strength and football knowledge over the course of the offseason.”
He said his goals for the team include “Hustle, develop habits that will make every player a better student athlete and [for his players to] believe in each other.”
The captains for the Streaks are seniors Tyler Purkey (quarterback), Brad Bertram, Kyle Woodall and Matt Swedberg.
Bertram, who is in his second year on varsity and plays running back and middle linebacker, said he is looking for a much better effort from the team this fall.
“I want to play to best of my ability,” Bertram said. “I want to get to the playoffs and have a lot better season than last year.”
Bertram said he believes the team’s success will depend on several factors.
“We need to have more hustle and focus,” he said. “We need to concentrate on studying and football and don’t let other things distract us.”
Bertram said his role as team captain will be to “bring everyone together” and help develop a better team chemistry which he felt was lacking the previous.
“We had too many small groups on the team,” he said. “We need to be one big unit.”
The Streaks added new coaches this summer including Tom Kruse, who played for back-to-back state-champion teams at Marian Central and will coach varsity offensive and defensive lines; Jacob Porter who will coach varsity running backs and defensive backs; Jon Brown, who will be the freshman head coach and will run the offense; and Will Deuerling, a 2007 WHS graduate, who will coach the freshman defense.
Bertram is impressed with Kruse and said “I think he helps out the team a lot.”
Every game on the schedule is ‘big’, according to Beard, and he said his biggest concern is what will happen “when adversity arises. What will the players’ response be?”
Beard said the team is preparing daily to have success on game day.
“WHS football is focusing on daily goals that can be measured and will lead to success on Friday night,” he said.
The Blue Streaks will open the season at 7:15 p.m. Friday, Aug. 24, at Wauconda. The Streaks will open at home at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 31, against Chicago Bulls College Prep Charter School.