GENOA, Ill. Genoa-Kingston is no stranger to playing into November. The Cogs have made the playoffs in four straight years and five of the last six seasons. But they want to avoid one word in 2019, being complacent.
In his first two seasons as head coach at Genoa-Kingston. Chad Wilmarth has taken the Cogs to the second round of the playoffs in back-to-back seasons with identical 8-3 records. But they want more in 2019.
"We can't be satisfied," said Wilmarth. "That's kind of what we're trying to say here. Don't be complacent, don't be satisfied with what we did last year. Yeah, last year was ok, but we need to do better than that."
Genoa-Kingston was a double overtime loss to Dixon and a last minute touchdown away against Byron from a perfect regular season; the second in three years. But the players say those two losses could have been avoided.
"The little things, the details," said senior Logan Kribs. "Whether where we're lining up, how we're blocking someone, how we're tackling someone. Just the little things."
"We're looking pretty sharp for right now, especially from the start of last season," said senior Justin Peters0. "But like coach always says, if we're looking perfect now, there'd be nothing to work on. So, where we're at right now, we're looking pretty good."
The Cogs have not won a state championship since 1977. However, the team believes they have the right pieces in place to get to DeKalb and it starts with the seniors.
"Very confident in what we can do," said Kribs. "We've been playing together since we were like eight years old. So the chemistry is there. We also have a good talent level. So we're pretty ready."
The Cogs return 16 total starters that are ready to compete for a Big Northern Conference championship. But they know they cannot look past any opponent.
"The kids know that it's not just going to happen," said Wilmarth. "We can't be complacent. We can't just expect that because we had a decent year last year that it's just going to fall into our laps. We know there's a lot of work for us to do still."
"We can't be looking at Byron before we look at Rock Falls," said Peters. "That's what he means by being complacent. So we're focused week-by-week, day-by-day."