Parkview Vikings (Orfordville) - Trailways Large
Coach: Bob Meyers (6th Year) - 9-33 Overall
2016 Result: 2-7 (2-4), T-4th in the Trailways Large
Three-Year Record: 5-22
2016 All-Conference Honors: 4 First-Team, 0 Second-Team, 2 Honorable Mention (6 total)
Three-Year All-Conference Totals: 6 First-Team, 3 Second-Team, 8 Honorable Mention (17 total)
Returning All-Conference Players: None
Other Players To Watch: QB Ryan Miller, Sr.; FB/LB Gavon Brown, Sr.; RB/CB Riley Carroll, Sr.; TE/SS/P Nathan Mohr, Sr.; OL/DE Chase Carratt, Jr.; G/LB John Yacyszyn, Jr.; RB/S Eli Hoscheit, Jr.; TE/DL Aydon Campbell, Jr.; OL/DL Travis Calkins, Jr.; TE/DB Jarret Brown, Jr..
BIG Games: vs Marshall August 25 (non-conference), vs Dodgeland September 22 (Homecoming), vs Palmyra-Eagle October 6 (Senior Night)
In their Trailways debut, Parkview ended the season almost exactly as they had in the old Rock Valley South: a win away from a playoff spot.
With the past two seasons ending up a little short of the first playoff berth for Parkview since their only appearance in 2002, the goal for 2017 is fairly obvious: the Vikings want to make the playoffs.
"In our second year playing in the Trailways, we expect to be competitive with every team on our schedule and qualify for the playoffs." - Head Coach Bob Meyers
The task is a little taller for the upcoming season, as the program graduates six all-conference honorees (including four first-team nods) and nearly a dozen players total, but the four returning seniors have plenty of experience and will take on even greater leadership roles, says Coach Bob Meyers.
"We did lose a good senior class, and we do have only four returning seniors," said Meyers, "[but] we have been one win from qualifying for the playoffs each of the last two seasons, so we are looking to get over that hump this year."
In that group of four returning seniors is quarterback Ryan Miller. "Ryan is the leader of our team both on the field and during the offseason," said Meyers. Miller started at quarterback last season as a junior.
The three other seniors will all be important two-way players. "Gavon Brown will be starting at linebacker and fullback again this season. Gavon will shoulder more of the load in the run game than he did last season," Coach Meyers said. "Riley Carroll [cornerback/running back] and Nathan Mohr [strong safety/tight end] are both returning defensive starters, and will likely be two-way starters this season."
With only four seniors, it figures that the incoming juniors will play important roles as well in 2017.
"We do have some juniors that saw varsity action last year as sophomores," said Meyers. "Chase Carratt was a starting defensive for us last year as a sophomore, but was lost to injury in the third game of the season. He has had a really good offseason, and we look for him to be one of our top players on both sides of the ball." Carratt will also play on the offensive line this year.
Most of the rest of the incoming junior class will play both ways as well. "John Yacyszyn started at guard last season, and will likely start at linebacker this season. Eli Hoscheit is one of the top athletes in our school, and will be a factor at running back and as a defensive back," said Meyers. "Eli saw increased varsity action as the season progressed last year, and started the final game at safety in 2016."
Meyers noted that some of the other returning juniors, including Aydon Campbell, Travis Calkins, Jarret Brown, and Brayden Tracy, will all factor in to the equation as well.
After going 2-4 in conference play last year, the Vikings figure to once again play for a playoff spot this season in the Trailways Large. "In our second year playing in the Trailways, we expect to be competitive with every team on our schedule and qualify for the playoffs," said Coach Meyers. "Our biggest question marks this year will be offensive line play and our big play capability in the run game. We expect our passing game to be improved and our overall team speed on defense will be improved."
It wasn't that long ago that Parkview toyed with the notion of moving to 8-man football, and even played an experimental 8-man game in 2015. However, Coach Meyers doesn't see the school making the switch to 8-man football any time soon. "Since joining the Trailways, our numbers have improved, so there has been no talk about 8-man football," said Meyers.
The incoming sophomore class is roughly the size of the incoming junior class, and the junior high program appeared well-stocked as well, so the size of this year's senior class doesn't appear to be much of a detriment to Parkview football.
Looking at the schedule, a few games stand out. Parkview will once again take on Marshall in a non-conference game on August 25. Marshall, a member of the Capitol South, is a perennial playoff team in Division 5 (Parkview's enrollment would have placed the Vikings in Division 6 in 2016).
Two conference games that stand out are the homecoming game against Dodgeland on September 22, who defeated Parkview last year 16-6, and Senior Night against Palmyra-Eagle on October 6, who the Vikings defeated on the road last year 11-8 [Ed. note: the album above is from this game].
In the Trailways Large, Markesan is the defending champion, with Dodgeland finishing in second in the conference with a 5-1 record and Horicon/Hustisford in third with a 4-2 record in 2016. Markesan was the only conference team to win a playoff game, winning their Level 1 contest before falling in Level 2. All three of those teams (Markesan, Dodgeland, Horicon/Hustisford) bring back multiple all-conference performers.
Parkview's work appears to be cut out for them, if they hope to make the school's second-ever playoff appearance. Every team in the conference will bring back at least one all-conference performer, except for Parkview. Last year, the Vikings didn't lose any conference game by more than two scores in their first season in the Trailways. If their defensive success can continue into 2017, don't count out Parkview for their first trip to the playoffs since 2002.