Highwood-Geraldine Rivals Prep for 2015 Football Season - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Highwood-Geraldine Rivals Prep for 2015 Football Season

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HIGHWOOD -

It's a new look for the Highwood-Geraldine Rivals this year, and new can present challenges. The two-time defending state champions lost seven seniors from last year. Now, they have only two seniors on this year's roster. Co-head coach Brandon Gondeiro not only relies on his upper classmen to be anchors on this team, but he wants all of his players to step up as leaders.

"It doesn't matter if it's freshman, sophomore, junior, seniors," said Brandon Gondeiro, co-head coach of the Rivals football team. "Whoever steps up and fulfills that opportunity, they're going to be the ones who are out on the field."

Senior center Riley Kurtz is well aware that the team is in a rebuilding phase, but he's happy with the progress made so far in practice.  

"We're pretty young, pretty un-experienced team, but these young kids are really stepping up pretty good," said Riley Kurtz, senior center for the Rivals football team. "Listening to coach, following our lead. I think we're going to do pretty good."

Senior quarterback Devin Leistiko replaces Darren Malek under center. Leistiko also recognizes the challenge of being one of two senior leaders on the team.

"It's going to be hard to do because there's a lot of freshman in here coming up," said Devin Leistiko, senior quarterback for the Rivals football team.  "We're going to be competitive though. We're just gonna have to buckle down and just go with it. Just kind of learn as we go."

After winning back to back Class C-6 Man state championship titles, there comes the added pressure to get number three. However, the Rivals are trying to tackle one milestone at a time.

"Right now, our mind is not there," said Kurtz. "Our mind is get better everyday at practice and hopefully make the playoffs first and see what we can do to grow as a team."

"Improvement every day. We have to get better every day if we want to compete by the end of the year," said Gondeiro. "We just have to get better and better and better. We have an enormous amount of potential and enormous room to do that. That's what we're trying to do is improve every day."

A determined mindset to help get the Rivals through the upcoming 2015 football season. 

The Highwood-Geraldine Rivals football team plays it's 2015 season opener game against the Box Elder Bears. The game is at home for the Rivals on August 29 at 1:00 p.m.

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