FORRESTON, Ill. (WIFR) Forreston won the IHSA Class 1A state title last year, the 20th championship in Northwest Upstate Illini Conference history. However, the Cardinals are looking to do something in 2019 that no NUIC team has ever done before, win back-to-back championships.
"I know the target is on our backs. I know if we put our minds to it, we can do what most teams can't, and repeat," said senior Dom Christensen. "I learned a lot from those guys. Those guys loved each other. If we can be like them and stick together, we can be great."
Forreston will have one of its largest senior classes in this season, with 16 players on the roster. This senior class has been part of two state titles, a semifinal appearance and a combined 37 wins in three years.
"I try to show if you're going to mess up, at least do it 100%," said senior Derek Devries. "Because if you do mess up and you go 100% and you end up making a play good, it's worth it."
"They've ultimately had about 14 extra weeks of games that they've been able to be a part of either by practicing or by actually being in the games as sophomores and juniors," said head coach Kyle Zick. "Hopefully that experience will help us moving forward.".
While the Cardinals lose a couple playmakers on offense, the biggest question mark will be on defense. Forreston returns with only four starters on that side of the ball. However, senior quarterback Bailey Cullor is not worried.
"It's just come in, do your job, always and then give it your best," said Cullor. "Great things will come if you listen to coach, because he knows what he's doing, for sure."
"Whether or not they think we're going to be really good, whether or not, they don't think we're going to be very good, it doesn't really matter," said Zick. "Ultimately whatever happens on a Friday night is determined by the kids and how they come together and want to play as a team."