Optimism is running high this season for Brodhead/Juda’s football program.

Thanks to the return of 18 starters, coach Jim Matthys said his team hopes to return to the playoffs after a two-year layoff.

“I’ve got a really good group of kids,” Matthys said. “The atmosphere around here seems to be a lot more positive than the last couple of years.

“Barring some injuries, because we’re thin in a couple of spots, there’s no reason we can’t make a playoff push this year.”

Brodhead/Juda held the state record for consecutive playoff appearances with 25 before the streak ended in 2017.

Three starters return on the offensive line, and that has Matthys excited about the Cardinals’ wing-T offense.

Second-team all-Rock Valley Conference senior tackle Jake Miller is back, along with senior right guard Lucas Davidson and senior center Dayton Oliver. Junior Kaden Harper saw some varsity action at left guard last year and is back, along with junior CJ Kamholtz at left tackle.

“We sputtered at times last year offensively, but with those guys back, I’m hoping we’ll be more productive and keep our defense off the field,” Matthys said.

Cade Walker starts at quarterback. Matthys is excited about his junior signal-caller.

“He’s athletic and has a strong arm,” Matthys said. “We had trouble throwing the ball last season for various reasons, but this year I think you’ll see us have better success, because of our line and a good core of wide receivers that Cade has to work with.”

Junior Connor Green returns at wideout, along with senior Cody Baxter at tight end. Seniors Gavin Kammerer and Eyan Anderson will line up opposite Green, while sophomore Brady Malkow is expected to contribute at tight end.

“Team speed will be our strength, so we have to find a way to get those guys the ball,” Matthys said.

“Our senior class has played a lot of football together the past two seasons, so their leadership will be important for our younger guys.”

Senior Dalton Naramore and junior Braden Cook will handle the ball-carrying duties, with junior Ben Knuth expected to open holes at fullback.

Brodhead/Juda will stay with the 3-4 package defensively. Nine starters return from a unit that allowed 23.6 points per game last season.

“Defensively, we had a lot of younger guys on the field last year, so we hope the experience moves us forward this year,” Matthys said.

Davidson and Miller return on the defensive line, with senior Shannon Condon, Cesar Salgado, Knuth, Cook and Kamholtz back at linebacker. Naramore and Kammerer return in the secondary.

“Our schedule will be tough as usual,” Matthys said. “Edgerton returns almost everyone, Turner has good experience back at the skill positions and McFarland returns a lot from its 2018 conference championship team.

“Staying healthy will be the key to our success.”

Brodhead/Juda 2019 roster

No. Name Yr. Ht. Wt. Pos.

1 Jason Starr Sr. 5-9 155 RB/LB

2 Dalton Naramore Sr. 5-9 160 RB/LB

3 Eyan Anderson Sr. 6-0 190 WR/DB

4 Cade Walker Jr. 6-3 175 QB/DB

6 Braydon Sommerfeldt Jr. 5-11 170 WR/DB

8 Cole Hoesly So. 6-4 170 QB/DB

10 Ben Knuth Jr. 5-9 185 FB/LB

12 Mason Kammerer So. 5-8 120 WR/DB

13 Gavin Kammerer Sr. 6-2 165 WR/DB

14 Cooper Woelky So. 6-0 160 WR/DB

15 Devon Anderson Jr. 5-9 165 WR/DB

17 Mario Reyes So. 5-8 135 WR/DB

18 Ty Raupp Sr. 6-0 140 WR/DB

22 Max Harding Sr. 6-0 170 RB/LB

23 Gage Boegli So. 5-9 175 RB/DB

27 Cesar Salgado Sr. 6-0 165 WR/DE

28 Connor Green Jr. 5-10 155 WR/DB

31 Braden Erb Jr. 5-6 155 WR/DB

37 Braden Cook Jr. 5-10 200 RB/LB

38 Nick Naramore Sr. 51-0 160 RB/DB

42 Brady Rosheisen So. 6-0 145 RB/LB

48 Cody Baxter Sr. 6-0 175 TE/DE

52 Lucas Davidson Sr. 6-0 210 OL/LB

54 Dayton Oliver Sr. 5-9 190 OL/LB

55 Kaden Harper Jr. 6-1 185 OL/DL

56 Lucas Powers So. 5-9 200 OL/DL

57 Aaron Makos So. 6-0 165 OL/LB

64 Shannon Condon Sr. 5-9 155 OL/LB

65 Jake Miller Sr. 6-0 250 /OLDL

70 Colton Buttke So. 6-2 180 OL/DL

88 Brady Malkow So. 6-1 190 TE/DL

90 Lucas Steiner Jr. 5-10 150 WR/LB

99 CJ Kamholtz Jr. 6-1 180 OL/LB