Gridiron Series: New-look Tigers set high expectations for 2020

Gridiron Series: New-look Tigers set high expectations for 2020

SPRINGFIELD, Minn. (KEYC) — This week and next, we’re taking a look at football teams from around the area before the season opener on October ninth as part of the KEYC Gridiron Series.

High school football is finally back with the first official practice this fall. Here in Springfield, the Tigers are preparing for the upcoming season with new faces all over the field after advancing to the past two Class A state tournaments.

“We had a big senior class last year obviously, lost all of them. We’re looking to see what our class has to show and see how good we can be,” said Dylan Batzlaff, Springfield senior.

The Tigers lost 15 seniors from last year’s squad including the quarterback position where Decker Scheffler set the tone for the entire offense. Now, that position is up for grabs, and a few different players are competing to take snaps under center.

Despite a different looking roster, there is still plenty of athleticism the Tigers are planning to showcase.

“It’s going to be really fast. Our offense is spread out, it’s going to be free football, it’s going to be fun,” said Tori Helget, Springfield senior.

That diverse offensive playbook was installed a couple of years ago, when the Tigers also featured a revamped lineup. Even though the team started out 0-2 and finished with a 4-4 regular season record, Springfield got hot at the right time, winning the section title and a game at the state tournament.

With that in mind, coaches won’t be upset if the team gets off to a slow start as long as players improve regardless of wins and losses. The goal is to be competing for a third straight section title in November.

“Our expectations are high, our goal is to work hard and make it to the state tournament. Hopefully we have that,” said Jordan Toll, Springfield senior.

“We just have to play like us, that’s what we’ve been doing the past two years,” said Kadin Johnson, Springfield senior.

The Tigers first test of the season comes next Friday against Wabasso in a highly anticipated contest for every player on the squad.

“I’m excited to play football. For a long time, I didn’t think we were going to have a season this year. We all stayed in the weight room, kept working hard, and I think it’ll pay off,” said Mason Flor, Springfield senior.

“We all get goosebumps when we talk about it. We want to be out here, under the lights, nothing better. Senior year, go out with a bang. I’m ready, we’re all ready,” said Helget.

Tune in all week as we take a look inside the huddle from more of our area teams on the KEYC Gridiron Series.

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