BYRON, Ill. (WIFR) A few of Byron's returning players are feeling bitter after losing to IC Catholic in the final 30 seconds of the state semifinal and then watching the Knights win the 3A title before jumping up to 4A.
To turn that into motivation for this season the Tigers are asking themselves one question: What do you think IC is doing right now?
That gets Byron moving if there is ever a lull during practice.
The Tigers went 12-1 last year after winning the Big Northern and have their eyes on another state championship run.
However, Byron does not just have IC on its mind and despite losing some play-makers like Nolan Bielskis, it believes the talent level is still there to go out and get a ring.
"If anything, that's lit a fire underneath some of these kids and they've got a taste of what the playoffs is like, but they want to take the next step" said head coach Jeff Boyer.
"Our dream of stepping onto this field during two-a-days when it was 100-plus degrees out here was to win that state championship and beat IC in the semifinals," said senior Ricky Messling. "We didn't get it and we made some mistakes and we can only learn from them. We learn from our mistakes and hopefully we can come back and get that ring."