Despite back-to-back winless seasons and a 20-game losing streak, Bob Meyers is remaining upbeat.
The Orfordville Parkview football coach knows the Vikings face an uphill battle in the Rock Valley Conference because of declining enrollment at the school.
Meyers, however, firmly believes his team can take a big step forward this season and possibly make a run at the postseason.
“I think the Rock Valley South is wide open this year,” Meyers said. “There is no clear-cut favorite.
“We will be improved, and I expect us to compete for a playoff spot.”
Parkview continues to lag far behind in enrollment numbers, and that might play a large part in the current streak.
Last year, the school had 252 students, the smallest enrollment in the 12-school Rock Valley Conference.
By comparison, Walworth Big Foot had 520 students last year competing in the Rock Valley South along with Parkview, while McFarland in the Rock Valley North is the biggest school in the conference with an enrollment of 718 last year.
“It’s very tough competing in a conference with such disparity in enrollment,” Meyers said. “As a school, we’re competing for a spot in the Division 5 playoffs, while the teams we’re playing in our own conference are mostly Division 4 and Division 3 teams.”
Parkview returns six starters on both offense and defense. The offense averaged 15.5 points per game last season, and the top two rushers from a year ago are back.
Senior Hunter Marshall rushed for 780 yards, and senior Aaron Hatlevig added 555 yards on the ground. Parkview rushed for 1,636 yards.
“Our running back group is the strength of our team,” Meyers said. “I expect us to have the same type of success running the ball this year as we did last year.”
Senior Collin Hatlevig and juniors Sam Mohns, Grant Carroll and Byron Brown are expected to provide excellent depth in the backfield.
Junior Allen Rodriguez is expected to be the anchor of the offensive line.
The defense remains a work in progress. Parkview allowed 37 points per game last season, including a season-high 58 in a loss to Clinton.
With six starters returning on defense, led by Marshall, Aaron Hatlevig and Rodriguez, Meyers hopes the Vikings can shore things up defensively.
“We have pretty good experience coming back on defense,” Meyers said, “so I look for improvement on that side of the ball.”
Number, Name, year, height, weight, position.
1, Collin Hatlevig, Sr., RB/DB
3, David Schwengels, Sr., TE/DB
4, Luke Cowan, So., RB/LB
5, Nathan Mohr, So., TE/DB
7, Aaron Hatlevig, Sr., RB/DB
9, Dalton Andersen, Sr., TE/DB
10, Noah McMahon, Jr., OL/DL
12, Hunter Marshall, Sr., RB/DB
19, Brad Onsgard, Jr., TE/CB
20, Ryan Miller, So., QB/DB
21, Grant Carroll, Jr., RB/DB
25, Byron Brown, Jr., RB/DB
28, Sam Mohns, Jr., RB/DB
32, Gavon Brown, So., RB/DB
44, Joshua Ponkauskas, Jr., TE/LB
52, Allen Rodriguez, Jr., OL/DL
53, Hilton Brockwell, Jr., OL/DL
54, Alex Eley, Sr., OL/LB
55, Joe Kane, So., OL/LB
58, Nicholas Shepherd, Sr., OL/DL
64, Carter Landis, Sr., OL/DL
66, Jarrett Lajoie, So., OL/LB
74, Clayton Ballard, Sr., OL/DL
77, Brent Baker, Jr., OL/DL
82, Austin Breitenfield, Jr., TE/DL