Another Cardinal Football Season

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Another Cardinal Football Season

Written by Jayden Stanley, yearbook editor-in-chief

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With high expectations from the year before and not knowing how well the boys would do with a smaller line, the Cardinals’ football team was hyped yet nervous for the season. The team has only made it to the Sectional game twice since 2013. The Cardinals are coached by Matt Biehler, Brent Martens, Brent Andra, Gregg Hullinger, Ryan King and Darrin Seiwert. 

“[Going into the season, I felt] great because we had the Collin Koester. I felt good [about myself] because it was football season,” senior and wingback Jack Ebenkamp said. 

After a season-opening win over Trinity Academy, the boys were ready to take on the rest of the season. But with an unexpected loss to Cheney in week two, the Cardinals had to refocus. With five consecutive wins, the team had high hopes going into the playoffs. The boys suffered a tough 21-32 loss in the District championship in their battle against the rival Garden Plain Owls. The Cardinals were then District runner-ups and second seed in the playoffs. 

Due to injury, Koester was out during the Garden Plain game, as well as the following game against Cherryvale, which they won 42-13.

“We’ve been there before and we knew what we needed to do. I had to fill his [Collin Koester’s] shoes and do the best I could for us to win,” junior and backup quarterback Heath Hilger said. 

They were then on to the Regional game versus the Eureka Tornadoes. The Cardinals blew away the Tornadoes with a victory of 40-7. The Cardinals then traveled to Norton for the Sectional game. Suffering from a hard loss 32-34, the team was devastated once again. 

“I felt really good about how the players were always focused and they improved each week. Great kids to coach. It was a fun year. I really enjoyed it,” Coach Biehler said. 

The Cardinals have lost by only a few points the last few years, which makes the losses that much tougher. 

“I think the team was a lot better than people thought we were going to be,” senior and lineman Dawson Martin said. “I think I got better from last year, which was hard because I missed playing next to all of last year’s seniors.”