GOTHENBURG: Neb. (KNOP) - The Gothenburg Swedes are coming off a successful 2018 season, finishing with a 7-2 record, but were bounced from the playoffs with a loss to Aurora in the quarterfinals.
The Swedes finished 7-2 in 2018, and hope to return to the playoffs in 2019. They host Chase County in week one (Credit: Patrick Johnstone/KNOP-TV)
This season, the seniors will be expected to step up to lead this team back to the playoffs.
"We return a pretty good nucleus of players, some three year starters coming back, so we feel pretty good," head coach Craig Haake said.
One of those starters is quarterback Maguire Bartlett, who will be behind center for the third year.
"I've improved a lot on passing, still something I'm going to continue to work on, and we should be able to run the ball pretty well. I feel pretty good about this, we lost a lot last year, but we've got some young guys stepping up, and it's going to be a good year," Bartlett said.
For this group of seniors, they are going to lead the same way upperclassmen lead them when they were younger.
"We're young, but we're going to get after it. We've had a lot of older guys that have shown us what it's like to lead a team. So, we're going to lead our team, and we're going to do great things," said senior lineman Tucker Wyatt.
Coach Haake said the seniors have taken the initiative and helped him train underclassmen, making his job easier.
"I think we've got great senior leadership. They take care of things. I haven't had to get after anything yet, they care of it," Haake said.
The seniors have lead by example so far this year.
"Any team you've been on you listen to your coach, but you also watch those older guys and how they react and do things. These guys are working hard and they're expecting the young ones to work hard, and the younger ones are following that lead," Haake said.
"I like communicate, so I'm usually yelling, so that the team knows what's going on so we can succeed I guess," Wyatt said, "Work ethic is a big deal for me, it's not all about talent. If you're working hard, you're going to do good things, so we're just working hard out here."
At the end of the season, the seniors hope their fans talk about their hard work, and the younger players will take their lessons and turn them into future success.
"I hope they talk about how hard we worked and how influential we were on the younger people, and I would really like to see this younger group come up and do some good things, because of what we've been able to do," Wyatt said.
The Swedes host Chase County on Aug. 30 for their first game.
Gothenburg 2019 Schedule
Aug. 30: v Chase County
Sep. 6: @Cozad
Sep. 13: @Holdrege
Sep. 20: v Adams Central
Sep. 27: @O'Neill
Oct. 4: @Broken Bow
Oct. 11: v Valentine
Oct. 18: @Ogallala
Oct. 24: v Ord