The Burlington Wildcats football head coach John Petrie is hoping the return of an experienced offensive line along with skilled players yields better results not just in the regular 2019 season, but also a run in the playoffs as well.
“We’ve got some good offensive linemen back and solid, skilled players.” Said Petrie, who is in his 4th year as the head coach of the Wildcats and 25th year of coaching overall.
“Solid, skilled players and a couple of move-in [student-athletes] could challenge for starting spots.”
Returning on the offensive line for Burlington will be Parker Meats, Devin Wonser and Seth Williams. The Wildcats o-line will feature with five upperclassmen, 3 of them seniors.
“I think the biggest impact (on offense) will be on the offensive line where we return several upfront.” Said the Burlington Head Coach.
The average weight for the Wildcats comes in at 225 lbs., which is sure to open up some lanes for the returning ball carriers this season.
For skilled offensive positions, the Wildcats welcome back senior Cael Johnson and junior Caedon Berkenmeier, who will split time with running the ball.
“Cael has been a starter on defense for three years and offense for two. Has worked hard this summer and is ready to take more of a leadership role on our team.” Coach Petrie noted.
“Caedon made it to state in wrestling last year. He will bring a lunch box mentality to the offense and defense this year.”
Another returning skilled player is tight end senior Brennan Brown.
“Brennan also has worked hard this summer, improving on all his maxes in the weight room.” said coach Petrie.
On the defensive side of the ball, Burlington welcomes back six starters from last year including Johnson, Meats, and Berkenmeier and also includes linebacker junior Braden Sloyer, defensive back junior Gavin Price, and defensive lineman senior Keegan Kuhlmann.
Much like the offensive side of the ball, the Burlington defense features seven upperclassmen.
The district schedule for Burlington will have the Wildcats on the road often, but playing host to some of the toughest opponents at home, including Olpe in a non-district game and Pioneer League foe, and district opponent, Prairie View.
“Olpe is tough for a small school, and Prairie View is the defending league champions.” Said the Burlington coach on his non-district schedule.
Talking more about the Pioneer League, coach Petrie noted that there are no easy wins this year.
“Wellsville has a new coach but is always good. Throw in Iola that has been a problem for us to handle, and we are glad to have them at home this year.”
However, even with the challenges of facing a tough Girard team on the road as well as Anderson County, who will have a new head coach, the Burlington Wildcats and their head coach are looking forward to the 2019 season.
“Our kids are ready for the test and excited about the season.”
Visit the Burlington Wildcat Football team page on our website for results throughout the season.