Ed-Co’s 2019 varsity football team: front from left, Konner Putz, Bo Kelzer, Cael Funk, Chase Kirby, Dawson Bergan, Ian Miller, Dayton Kearns, Nathanial Gaul, Walker Schulte and Xavier Reeves; second row, Ike Jones, Korey Putz, Owen Michael, Colin Harris, Michael Bush, Landon Carter, Cameron Kirby, Parker Rochford, Keegan Hansel and Cameron Knipper; third row, ball boy Pryce Rochford, Jakes Jones, Jonathan Kearns, Christian Weston, Max Bahls, Jordan Wegmann, Riley Ashline, David Horstman, Ethan Staner, assistant coach Ed Wadsworth and assistant coach Alex Hanna; back row, head coach James Rochford, assistant coach Jason Jones, Cooper Shampine, Lance Voss, Kiernan Hansel, Karson Lubben, Mason Ashline, Jack Wiskus and Bo Struble.

There is no doubt that last season was a special one for the Vikings of Edgewood-Colesburg. Not only did their football team make a playoff run, but their run included playing in the Class A semifinal game in the UNI-Dome. But, what about this year?

No one is more interested to find out what will happen this season than James Rochford, head coach of the Vikings. He knows his squad has a group of players who will form a solid offensive and defensive line and sees no shortage of talented players in the skill position. Coach Rochford realizes that his team’s biggest strength is its experience as it has 10 starters back from last year’s 10-2 team. But he also knows that injuries will happen and that means the readiness of the second tier of players is as important as the guys picked as starters.

Of those returning players are eight who were all-district selections. Seniors Max Bahl, David Horstman, Spencer Staner and Jordan Wegmann, along with juniors Keegan Hansel, Jake Jones, Cameron Kirby and Parker Rochford look to be the key players and the driving force if the Vikings are going to make another playoff push.

This team will experience a huge changing of the guard on the offensive side of the ball as Parker Rochford steps into the quarterback position where he does have some knowledge of the team’s passing game as he completed 10-of-20 passes for 190 yards and two touchdowns. His numbers as a receiver will have to be replaced (28 catches, 501 yards, eight touchdowns). The guys most likely to benefit in the passing game are Staner (20 catches, 361 yards, four touchdowns) and Hansel (five catches, 74 yards, one touchdown).

Increasing their load of carrying the football will be Kirby (87 carries, 422 yards, one touchdown), Hansel (30 carries, 149 yards, two touchdowns) and the crafty running provided by Parker Rochford (18 carries, 111 yards).