2021 Football Preview


Shelbee Burke, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Fall sports have been in full swing for the past couple of weeks, football being one of them. The Alliance Bulldogs currently have an 0-3 record, but the team is working hard to improve each week.

Head Coach Chris Seebohm stated, “It’s amazing how fast it goes once it starts but the guys have been great to work with. They’ve worked hard and we had a couple of tough opponents right out of the gate but they’ve been positive and they’ve stuck together.” He continued saying, “The family atmosphere at practice has been great, so overall, I’ve been proud of what we’ve accomplished so far. I know we haven’t won any games yet, which any coach in the world would probably say they’d like to change, but we can’t do anything about that now. We’re headed in the right direction though.” Senior, Zane Stoike commented, “This is one of the best teams I’ve been a part of practice wise, and there are adjustments that we need to make.”

To prepare for season, Seebohm explained, “We did a lot of offseason stuff, during the summer and last year after the season ended. Usually after Thanksgiving break we start doing stuff. We do skill development and weight room stuff in the offseason.” He remarked, “Coaching wise, I’m always reading into different techniques and schemes, the same thing everyone else does.”

The team is small this year, with only a few returning players. Seebohm said, “We do not have a lot of returning starters this year: Isaiah Martinez, Nolan Nagaki, Eli Blanco, and Kellen Muhr who obviously was a big returning starter, but we lost a lot of guys last year.” He continued saying, “It’s fun watching the new guys fill in those rolls, but the other part of that is you wish you had more experience. It’s that way every year.”

When asked if it will be  a struggle to adjust from losing the strong players from last year, Seebohm responded that it’s “Not too bad this year. Sometimes we’ll switch up what we do offensively or defensively just based on personnel, but we thought with the guys we have this year, we could do a lot of the stuff we did last year. Tyzen Brown is more of a running quarterback so we did add some stuff into our offense for him.” 

Seebohm said he’s most excited about working with this group this year. He remarked, “It’s kind of interesting because I’ve kind of seen this group of seniors grow up, because I have a daughter now that’s a senior too, so it’s kind of a whole weird, different dynamic knowing that I’ve seen these kids almost their whole lives instead of just four to six years.” Seebohm stated, “Every year it’s just a lot of fun to see where they start and where they end up. The stories and the comradery and the things that happen throughout the season are always a lot of fun, but at the end of the season I’ll look back and take out all the positives and the negatives and evaluate them.” Stoike said, “I’m most excited just for all of us to get to play the game we love with little to none Covid restrictions.”

The most challenging part of the season this year will be a lack of depth. The numbers have declined due to a few small classes and lack of students participating. Seebohm stated, “That’s nothing you can control, but we used to have a lot more depth which meant more substitutes when you need them, so we have to get a little bit creative with our substitutions now.” Again this year, the Bulldogs were unable to have a freshmen football season so Seebohm explained they have been “trying to get our freshman kids reps in the JV games and making sure that they stay interested.” Stoike added, “The most challenging part of this year was to overcome the heat, and the late practices. Also bonding as a team.”

The Alliance Bulldogs have a very tough season ahead of them, with very competitive opponents that they will be playing. Seebohm said, “There’s really not one week I can say we have an easy week. It’s very competitive every game with the schedule, but that’s the kind of schedule that we want to have.”

This year’s seniors are Wade Sanders, Zane Stoike, Kellen Muhr, Jaden Dvorak, Pierce Libsack, Isaiah Martinez, Dan Steele, Nolan Nagaki, Jayden McCracker, Nathan Ackerman and German foreign exchange student Mats Albrecht. Stoike remarked, “It feels unreal to be a senior, and all of us seniors are great leaders. “We’ve always had great leaders, and this year is not an exception.”

The coaching staff, other than Seebohm, includes Keagen Kaiser, Preston Walls, Baden Shelmadine and Jess Clarke. Seebohm remarked, “They’re all great coaches, all are from Alliance, [and] all played here under different coaches. They all do a fantastic job. They care about our guys and I’m very proud to be able to coach with them.”