Countdown to kickoff: Hononegah not only returns top talent, but head coach as well

Hononegah head coach Brian Zimmerman returns after suffering a stroke last year
Published: Aug. 22, 2023 at 10:50 PM CDT
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ROCKTON, Ill. (WIFR) - Hononegah is returning loads of talent from their 7-3 team last year, but the biggest return for the team this season is head coach Brian Zimmerman.

“After week 4 I had a subarachnoid stroke on Saturday of all things,” Zimmerman said. “It opened my eyes I guess to how important it is for coaches taking care of their health as well.”

“The coaches did a great job of filling in for his role,” senior DB/WR Isaiah Houi said. “But at the same time, it’s coach Zimmerman, he’s a staple at this school so it definitely hurt us last year but we’re super happy to have him back this year.”

Houi is part of a solid number of returning players on both the offensive and defensive sides of the field. Seven starters on offense return, including senior QB Cole Warren.

“I just think our whole running back crew will be great,” Warren said. “and I think our wide receivers, while we graduated two of them there are some younger guys that come up and those are some guys that I really think will surprise some people.”

Meanwhile, Northern Iowa DB commit Isaiah Houi anchors a defensive group that also returns seven starters.

“We return a lot of guys with experience,” Zimmerman said. “After that first group, there’s a little bit of that dropoff with the experience level but I think all of our guys are really chomping at the bit to get after it.”