Oregon looks to build around a young core

Published: Aug. 18, 2021 at 7:44 PM CDT
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OREGON, Ill. (WIFR) - After a 1-3 spring season, Oregon looks to reload for the long run. The Hawks have a few key pieces returning, but it’s all about building a long-lasting winning tradition.

“School might not be their best part of the day, but let’s make football the best part of the day when they go home. Sometimes you got to change things up a bit.”

Change is the main theme at Oregon this year. The Hawks will have quite a young core to build around. Only six seniors and 28 freshman in the program.

“We’re developing the junior class as of right now,” said head coach Nick Schneiderman. “They’re going to get a lot more reps than probably a traditional year. But that should just bode well down the road.”

“Varsity and fresh/soph, we’re not separate,” explained senior Daniel Dominguez. “We’re basically together. So, we talk as one, we thing as one. We help them with other things that they struggle, we take a moment, help them maintain, mental reps, and just overall, help them out with everything.”

Oregon will lean on those six seniors like Dominguez to get through the daunting Big Northern Conference.

“On defense, we still have a majority of our varsity that played last year for starting, we still have them here on defense, I feel we’re going to be still as strong as last year.”

On offense, the Hawks will look to run the rock with Dominguez and Issac Reber. But if need be, they know they can turn to their young signal caller Hunter Bartel.

“I have a lot of confidence in Hunter,” said Reber. “He’s a good kid. He’s really smart, he’s a really smart guy. So, I think he’s going to adapt really well to the starting position.”

The Hawks haven’t been to the postseason since 2014. With so much youth on the team, Oregon doesn’t know any better.

“We obviously want that five games, pretty much punches your ticket to the playoffs,” said Reber. “We obviously want as many as we can.”

“There’s only one game in your mind, then after that game, you think about the next game,” said Dominguez. “You always have that mind, going up the ladder, going up the steps.”

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