Hortonville football looks to take next step
Polar Bear season preview
By Erik Buchinger
The Hortonville Polar Bears returned to the playoffs last season, but they are looking for more in 2019.
The Polar Bears are coming off a bit of a bounce-back season with a 6-4 record before falling to Menasha in Level 1 of the playoffs.
“Last year we lost to Menasha at their field, which was disappointing,” senior Jose Concepcion said. “Hopefully we can get a playoff game at our field and get the (win).”
All four of Hortonville’s captains including Concepcion, Caleb Williams, Kyle Allen and Jack Dodd said the team was committed to getting faster and stronger in the offseason.
“We definitely stepped up our game in the weight room with conditioning,” Williams said. “We worked hard to keep accountability with each other and made sure we’re all working hard.”
Hortonville set its season goal in the spring.
“I think a successful season is to win a home playoff game,” Williams said. “That’s what we’ve been working for, and I don’t think any of us will be satisfied unless that happens.”
Concepcion accumulated 16 touchdowns as a junior last year and rushed for 1,347 yards.
“Personally, I want to get some picks and make some big plays,” Concepcion said. “Hopefully I’ll get all-conference this year. I missed it last year, but hopefully this year I will get that.”
Dodd said the offensive line set a goal for the unit’s production.
“As a line and with Jose too, we want to average six yards a carry,” Dodd said. “We want to get to that goal, so we’ve been working hard on and off the field to get there, whether it’s watching film, technique stuff and just overall physicality.”
Dodd said he liked what he has seen during preseason practices.
“I think practices have been going well, and I like the way the team is coming together, working hard to accomplish one common goal,” Dodd said. “Being kind of a captain of the line, I like to try to bring those guys together so we can all work as a unit.”
Senior captain quarterback Kyle Allen said he is excited to see what the offense can do in 2019.
“We’ve done some new things on offense we all like,” Allen said. “We’re all getting the hang of it and starting to get a good rhythm going.”
Allen said a personal goal of his is to simply keep the interception numbers low and throw lots of touchdowns. Last season, he threw for 1,108 yards with 12 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
“I have big expectations,” Allen said. “We hope to be better than we were as juniors. Now that we’re seniors, I hope we have a good season and go beyond what we’ve done in the past.”
With the offseason training and returning varsity athletes, it could be a big year for the Hortonville football program, Dodd said.
“We’ve all worked a long time for this,” Dodd said. “I think this is the year we make something special happen. We’ve got a lot of returning starters and a lot of players who can make an impact on the football field.”