Kankakee Valley Kougars
Inside the Kougars
Last season: 8-2
Returning starters: 12 (six offense, six defense)
Returning offensive leader
Al Berdine, Sr., RB. 82 carries 438 yards, 4 TDs.
Returning defensive leader
Johnny Williams, Jr., LB. 93 tackles (85 solo), 10 sacks.
Williams, Jr., LB. He’s led the Kougars in tackling the past two seasons. “He comes out and plays hard all the time, great work ethic, great attitude,” coach Brad Stewart said.
He's got next
Darrick Webster, So., QB. An athletic kid who‘s vying for starting QB position. He‘s an exceptional athlete.
The Times' breakdown
The Kougars had an outstanding regular season last year, winning a share of the NCC crown in the process. K.V. looks to build on that success despite losing some key players on both sides of the ball. “We’re faster this year, we’re stronger this year and we’re bigger this year,” Stewart said. “Per man on the front line, we’re about 15 to 20 pounds heavier. ... We have 18 kids that ran below a 5.0 40 on the varsity/JV.” The Kougars return veteran offensive linemen in Zack Randall, Mike Drinski and Bob Aguillon. They will be even stronger if Tim Schoonveld returns at guard instead of stepping in at QB. The line will open holes for Berdine, Williams and Keegan Higgins in the wishbone attack. Williams, Schoonveld (LB) and Matt Myers (DE) return to solidify the defense. The trio combined for 21 sacks last year. K.V. wants to take the next step and battle for the sectional crown. “We were disappointed in the finish,” Stewart said. “We feel like we have some unfinished business that we’ve got to take care of.”
— Christopher Breach