They say getting to the top of the mountain is hard, but staying there is even harder.
However entering the 2019 season, that’s exactly what the Division six State Champion Iola-Scandinavia Thunderbirds are looking to do.
“Yesterday’s the past and today’s the future,” said Head Coach Scott Erickson. “We’ve gotta do the work if we want to have a shot at it again.”
But it’s hard not to look back at a magical 2018 season, in which the birds: finished with a perfect 14-0 record, their first state championship and a senior running back in Bryce Huettner that became the state’s all-time career rushing leader.
“Those are groups that you get every 10 years if you’re lucky,” said Erickson. “Yeah, we’ve got big holes to fill, but we have kids that are ready to rise to the challenge and see what they can do this year.”
One player returning to the Thunderbirds offense this season is receiver Will Cady, who trusts his team to fill the void left by last years seniors.
“We just have people stepping up,” Cady said. “(They’re) doing their best at their position and that’s all we can ask for, people stepping up.”
And no matter who is on the field they will all have the same mindset.
“It’s pretty much don’t focus on the past try and work on right now,” said Cady. “Try and focus on getting a state championship this year instead of last year.”
A goal that Cady admits is what dreams are made of.
“It would mean a lot, that’d be crazy, to go out there and do it again, it would be a dream..”