By Russ Owens
STRATFORD (WAOW)- From 2003 to 2008, the Stratford football team brought home six straight gold balls. But then in 2009, the Tigers were handed a second round playoff exit, finishing 6-4 on the year. In the six years before that, they had a combined two losses.
Says Cal Tackes, "Yeah you know, we talked about last year, we kinda crashed and burned, so this year our motto is rising from the ashes. They've been really focused in the offseason, we're a lot bigger, more physical, stronger."
Says Nick Viegut, "Last year was really tough, I think we had the mentality that our state championships were expected, and we've really learned we have to earn them."
Says Luke Radke, "We don't need anymore motivation than that, we just gotta come out here and bust our buts every day."
Now it's a new season, and the Tigers return 13 total starters from last year. This seasoned group is ready to put the past behind them.
Says Viegut, "We had a lot of guys that worked really hard in the weight room this offseason, and coming out here for practice, guys are really busting it and working hard."
Says Tackes, "We didn't win as many games as we'd like, but at the same time, these guys got out there and went against some very good opposing players."
Says Radke, "We have such good leadership, guys are really stepping up all over the place."
Stratford is ready to get back to the top of the Marawood conference and maybe even the state once again.
Says Tackes, "I really feel that we've come a long way and this group has a lot of potential to do really well."
Says Radke, "It's our senior year, we don't expect anything less."
And if you're already marking your calendars, their rivalry game with Edgar is October 8th.
Online Reporter- Russ Owens