Countdown to Kickoff: Byron continues to aim high after state semifinal exit
The Tigers are continuing to learn following their 2021 state title run
BYRON, Ill. (WIFR) - “We all thought we’d just come in and it would be easy, we were going to roll into things but it kind of woke us up and made us realize that it’s not going to be easy,” Byron senior TE/DE Braylon Kilduff said.
That’s how Kilduff described the start of Byron’s 2022 season after winning the state title in 2021 and losing week one to Stillman Valley.
“We got to keep fighting, obviously we lose seniors so we have to work on our new team,” Kilduff said.
Despite the early setback, Byron would go on a tear, winning the rest of their eight regular season games by an average of 40 points per game. Now, entering 2023 just three starters remain from that 2021 title team and head coach Jeff Boyer understands the group’s expectations for itself.
“You know our kids have high expectations for themselves so you know so they have some pretty lofty goals and that’s no different than any other year,” Boyer said.
“Lot of experience, lot of kids coming back,” Boyer added.
The Tigers nearly reached the title game for a fourth-straight postseason but fell to eventual 3A champion IC Catholic in the semifinal round.
“We’re going to make it to state this year you know we always wanted to be better than we were so it’s a big pusher to help us,” Kilduff said.
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