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When Perrysburg High School varsity football captains were asked what their goals are entering this season, there were a lot of answers.
“Host a playoff game,” said offensive lineman Cale Bonner. Receiver and defensive back Quinn Thomas mentioned beating rival Maumee again. Quarterback Gus Dimmerling chimed in about having undefeated Northern Lakes League championship. Beating area powers Central Catholic and Whitmer in the non-conference slate also was mentioned.
It‘s clear expectations are high after Perrysburg’s NLL outright title last year and the program‘s first-ever playoff victory. The team started preparing for its defense of the NLL crown on Friday when two-a-day practices started.
Players arrive at Perrysburg Junior High during two-a-days at 6:30 a.m. to watch film together, have meetings, and then practice from 8 to 10 a.m. Folding chairs, playing cards, and packed lunches are then brought out for lunch before more film, meetings, and a 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. practice.
“We’re here all day for the bonding of them all being together and develop relationships,” said coach Matt Kregel.
Starting his ninth year as the head coach for Perrysburg, Kregel said the team has struggled in the past to replace its good players the year after it had a good year. He said the program has progressed in that area and this time have an “exciting group.”
Players who graduated include first-team All-Ohio defensive back and wide receiver Matt Mesker, and standout defensive players J.P. Newton, Kadin Llewellyn, and Mark Delas. Llewellyn and Delas also had a bulk of the team‘s rushing attempts last year.
Kregel is excited to see the return of skill position players, though. Defensive backs, wide receivers, and two capable quarterbacks are strengths, he said.
The four captains are Dimmerling, Thomas, Bonner, and Michael Bogdanski.
“There is a lot of talent coming back, but we have to work just as hard as we did last year,” Thomas said.
Dimmerling, returning starting quarterback, broke a school record with 1,688 passing yards, and led the team in rushing with 1,207 yards and 15 touchdowns.
“We put in a lot of work last year, and we‘ll have to put in a lot of work this year to have the same success,” he said.
The four captains, all seniors, said they can’t believe it is the final year they will all play together.
“We‘re going to try to make the most of it and be a part of as much history as we can as seniors,” Thomas said. Bogdanski added that the team will fun too, because it’s football.
Contact Matt Thompson at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-356-8786, or on Twitter at @mthompson25.