The Saratoga Sun -

Seniors set to lead Panthers


Left to right, Jackson Cor, Kelton Koehn, Colter Cor, Preston Dew, Colton Jones, Heath Cushing, Cameron Travis, Teegan Love, Kyler Miller, Menphis Smith, Wyatt Cox, Kagan Gilbert, Cody Cor, Dalton Peterson and Dalton Taylor. Not pictured, Sam Schneider, Nate Rimmer, Logan Seahorn, and Tristan Gray.

The Saratoga High School football team has been busy at work in the week before school getting in hours of practice ahead of their first game coming up versus the Laramie JV team Saturday.

Kegan Willford, the team's head coach, said even though the team lost six seniors to graduation, there are now seven seniors on the team to provide leadership to their younger teammates. That experience, he says, is a huge boon to the team's offensive and defensive lines.

Willford also said many of the underclassmen also showed a lot of skill, and he had high hopes for them to step up and take the game to the opponents.

"I'm excited about what we see up front, but we also have really good freshman and sophomores coming up this year," Willford said. "A lot of them are very committed and dedicated so far, and they all want to learn and get better every day,"

Work ethic and teamwork will be key this year, Willford added. He sees a lot of players pushing one another during practice, he said, and that work ethic and leadership will likely wind up to be the team's biggest asset as it embarks on its season.

SHMS' new director of athletics, Greg Bartlett, is also confident in the coaching staff and the work ethic of the athletes on the team.

"Kegan Willford, this is his second year as the football coach and he's brought in a really good sense of team values," Bartlett said. "They had a really successful year last year and a lot of his kids are back. They have a great opportunity to go out and represent the Saratoga football team in a really positive manner."

Fall sports are the first of the year, so there's a lot of excitement there," Willford said. "A lot of the times I think these sports set the tone for the rest of the year.

"That's what we look to do: we made the playoffs last year for the first time in a lot of years and our goal is to match that and hopefully do even better this year."


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