Hononegah has the pieces in place for a return to the top of the NIC-10

Published: Aug. 26, 2021 at 6:02 PM CDT
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ROCKTON, Ill. (WIFR) - Hononegah has been to the playoffs in each of the last 13 seasons. While that may seem like quite an accomplishment to many, that has become the expectation in Rockton. The biggest battle the Indians may face is right in their own conference.

“People don’t realize the work that we put in everyday,” said senior Bryce Goodwine. “And that’s the whole team.”

“When we talk about Hononegah football, it’s guys that are committed, guys that are dedicated, guys that are willing to put in the time,” explained head coach Brian Zimmerman.

The Indians used their time in the spring to get a good look at what could be a big season at Hononegah.

“Our main thing is getting the little things right,” explained Goodwine. “Because a lot of the little things last year is what we got wrong and that’s what lost us the games. So, I think focusing on the little things this year is detrimental.”

Hononegah was a junior dominant group led by now senior quarterback Isaac Whisenand.

“It’s a very big jump coming from frosh/soph, then playing only people in your grade, to playing guys who are a whole year older than you,” said Whisenand. “Your development is a very big part in varsity football.”

Just a few short months removed from that first taste of varsity football, Whisenand will look to take that next step behind an offensive line that returns a lot of size, like 6′4″ 385 lb. senior Jacob Klink.

“Those guys are intelligent. They talk to each other, they communicate through offensive line language like they do,” said Zimmerman. “That’s just a huge comfort, I think, overall knowing that we got those guys in there.”

Endurance will be another key for an offense that likes the big play.

“I think our main thing offensively is not trying to get it all in one play,” said Goodwine. “Trying to march down the field and take some time off the clock and let our defense get off the field.”

Hononegah’s only two losses last year came against Harlem and Boylan, the last two teams to win the NIC-10. Whisenand wants to get his squad back on top.

“The team comes first. Personal accolades, that’s not something that’s my goal. If they come along, I will gladly welcome them. But I believe winning the conference is my main goal”

The Indians open the season Friday at home against Harlem.

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