BUTTE — A Week 4 season-ending shoulder injury to then junior quarterback Jack Keeley proved to be a double loss for Butte Central's football team.
The Maroons' top receiver Kyle Holter was put under center meaning that Central was out both its top quarterback and wideout.
"It was just like a crazy scenario," recalled Keeley of the injury he suffered against Hamilton. "I was just scrambling and then went to throw it away and I landed on my shoulder funny."
"Not only did we lose our starting quarterback, we lost our best receiver," said Butte Central head football coach Don Peoples Jr.
Keeping Keeley healthy will be a top priority as the Maroons open their season at home against Ronan on Friday as they look to rebound from a 1-7 campaign and end a three-year playoff drought. Central's last postseason appearance was a 2019 loss to Libby in the opening round of the Class A playoffs.
It's been a challenging three years," said Peoples. "Last year was really hampered by the injury bug. But that's part of football, those things happen. I think we're really just hungry to get out there, play hard and be a better football team."
The Maroons' senior class now gets one final shot at advancing to the postseason.
"It's big because in my time here I've never made it," said senior receiver Zane Moodry. "I think it'd be really cool to make it for our senior season."
Said Keeley: "It's a big motivator. We were looking pretty good last year and then it kind of took a weird turn. Kind of want to get it rolling this year, get some wins and see where we go."