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“We finished the 2018 campaign with a feeling that the program and our culture are continuing with a strong and positive foundation.”

That optimism from Fredonia head coach Marc Svaty is hoping will carry over to the 2019 season.

The Yellowjackets lost 14 starters to graduation last year and only return three starters on offense and five starters on defense.

“We will have a new look of players to get the ball to offensively, and I really think we will be able to field a quality offensive line to pave the way.

The Yellowjackets will run a multiple look offense with junior offensive linemen Grant Hebb, who enters this season listed at 5’8” 245 lbs., along with Kyler Starbuck, who towers at 6’1” and checks in at 280 lbs.

One of the few offensive skill players returning is 5’5” 125 lbs. junior John Dutton who is projected to be the starting play-caller.

“We only produced nine plays last season of over 25 yards, and only three of those went for touchdowns. That puts a lot of stress on the execution of our offensive line.”

However, Svaty was quick to point out that it doesn’t mean they won’t light up the scoreboard this year.

”We will be fielding a more dynamic group of offensive weapons in 2019, it’s important that we get those kids in space and that they are able to create more plays.”

The defense will be led by two seniors, Nick Hibbard, and Grayson Coulter a linebacker and defensive back respectively.

Juniors Layne Mayeske, a defensive back at 6”1’ 150 lbs., and Buddy Claibourn, a linebacker at 5’10” and 175 lbs., will look to jam runners beyond the line of scrimmage.

“We gave up too many big plays defensively and could not answer with enough big plays offensively (last year).” Mentioned Svaty.

The offseason has kept many starters busy through Spring sports and summer conditioning.

“We have a strong foundation that has been built here within the culture of our football program. Our Men’s Powerlifting team placed 3rd overall this last spring at the State Powerlifting Meet.”

Fredonia faces a challenging district schedule once again. Only two of the five district games will be at home; Tri-Valley rival Cherryvale and Neodesha. Fredonia is scheduled to travel to Eureka in week 4. That will potentially be Eureka’s first home game since 2017.

Coach Svaty is remaining focused on one game at a time, but optimistic about the upcoming season.

“We have a lot of kids that have put their time in and effort in preparation for the 2019 campaign. We look forward to highlighting this next group of Yellowjackets.”

Visit the Fredonia Yellowjackets Football team page on Eastern Kansas Sports for season results and more Yellowjacket football articles.

Author’s note: an earlier edition incorrectly stated “Humboldt faces a challenging district schedule once again.” The error is now corrected.

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