Parkview Vikings expect better football season
Last season was the definition of a rebuilding year in Orfordville.
The Parkview Vikings lost a talented senior class and were hit with low returning numbers. Their record reflected that, as the group failed to win a game.
At times, the experience may have been deflating, but it’s that experience that Bob Meyers hopes begins to pay off in 2014.
“Experience is the one thing we didn’t have last year,” Meyers said. “We really didn’t have any varsity experience. We were forced to play a lot of guys because of our numbers, so that’s a plus.”
Nowhere was Parkview hurt more than on the defensive side of the ball.
Meyers doesn’t beat around the bush, saying that even if the Vikings led the state in scoring, they still might have gone 0-9. But now he’s got seven returning starters on that side of the ball, including his top three players back.
“There’s no way for us to be worse (defensively), let’s put it that way,” Meyers said. “We had too many guys that were out of position, and they couldn’t really be helped. We’ll have more guys out there this year that really want to hit people.”
Leading the way is senior linebacker Josh Marick, who led the team in tackles last year. Budding two-way standout Hunter Marshall gained valuable experience as just a sophomore last year, and he’ll lead the way in the secondary. And senior Reid White is the cornerstone up front.
Offensively, Parkview returns a pair of playmakers in Marshall, the team’s leading rusher, and senior quarterback Jess Gear-hart.
“Marshall is just a tough, tough kid. He weighs about 135 pounds, but he’s tough and can make plays on both sides of the ball,” Meyers said. “We run the ball a lot, but the quarterback is a big position. There’s a lot of misdirection and a lot of footwork. (Gearhart has) done a good job with that.”
White and Marick will pave the way up front on a team that continues to have plenty of two-way players.
Meyers said Parkview had just 16 players that returned to the program a year ago in grades 10 through 12. This year the number jumped to 32, but he still has just 21 seniors and juniors combined.
Those numbers are particularly stressful with Parkview up against an enrollment disadvantage in the Rock Valley. The school had less than 300 students last year and will face Jefferson (581 in 2013), Whitewater (552), Brodhead/Juda (414) and Big Foot (515) all in the month of September.
“We’re trying to stay away from having a bunch of sophomores come up and play that aren’t ready to play,” Meyers said. “We’re moving in the right direction (as a program), but it’s just not going to happen overnight.”