ANNA — The curtain will come up on the 2019 high school football season in Illinois in less than two weeks. One team trying to continue its playoff tradition is the Anna-Jonesboro Wildcats.
Brett Detering is entering his 23rd season as the Wildcats’ head coach. Since 2000, A-J has made the postseason 18 of 19 years.
The ‘Cats graduated a large and productive group of seniors, and this year’s upperclassmen are small in numbers, but they are hungry to get their shot.
"I see a lot of potential," said junior quarterback Carson Pengress. "I mean we’re young, very young obviously. We have a lot of sophomores on the line, but playing with them last year, I know they’re gonna rise to it, rise to the occasion and be ready for the varsity level."
"Going in as a senior, I think I can speak for the whole senior class–we’re just ready to get after it," said senior tight end James Peterson. "We’re small, but I think we can get going."
"Most of these guys because of having a couple of good classes ahead of them, have spent a lot of significant time playing JV football, so they’ve got experience," said Detering. "They just don’t have varsity experience. You know sometimes varsity experience is just a little bit faster, guys are a little bit stronger, little bit bigger, so you just have to make that adjustment as you move forward."
The Wildcats will kick off the season at West Frankfort August 30th.
The teams split two meetings last year.