After a 9-2 season that ended in the quarterfinal round of 8M-I playoffs, the Little River football team is eager to pick right back up, despite losing a substantial portion of their defense production to graduation.
“We lose three of our top four tacklers on the defensive side of the ball, so filling in those holes will be a must,” said head coach Kevin Ayers.
Ayers returns for his second year as the Little River football head coach. Seven seniors and four juniors join him in pursuit of a deeper playoff run in 2020.
Jayden Garrison and Graham Stephens return as the team’s genuine dual threats at quarterback. Garrison and Stephens combined for 839 yards passing with fourteen touchdowns. The duo will also be responsible for the secondary coverage on defense. Last season, they recorded six interceptions.
Senior Keaton Richardson should also contribute offensive production for Little River. The 5’7″ 150 lbs wide receiver trailed only Garrison with 206 receiving yards. Fellow 6’1″ senior Trey Rolfs could be a favorite target for the two quarterbacks as well down the field.
“We have to play a more physical style of football if we want to compete at the highest level,” said Ayers.
The front offensive and defensive lines promise to have the same physical intensity as last year, if not more.
Senior Kaden Shafer, 6′ 230 lbs, junior Carter Halloway, and sophomore Braxton Halloway return upfront to battle in the trenches. The line should also get a boost from returning Lettermen Josh Braden and Ty Herzog. Junior Kyle Bruce could also factor into the rotation on the front line. That depth and health is critical should Little River eye another deep playoff run.
“We have had a great summer and return a good nucleus of players,” commented the Little River football coach.
The most significant change for Little River on their schedule is the district. For the next two years, they will compete on the East side of the 8-Man I district.
They join defending state champion Canton-Galva, Bennington, Herington, Lincoln, and Solomon in 8-Man I District 4.
Little River beings the 2020 football season on the road against Wheat State League Rival Peabody-Burns on Friday September 4th, 2020.