FORT BENTON – The Fort Benton Longhorns had a winning season last year and were one step away from making the 8-man playoffs. But the team couldn’t defeat Choteau in a Northern C divisional battle at the end of the year, and were kept out. You know that’s been gnawing at the Longhorns all year, especially since the team only lost 3 seniors. This group is ready for redemption.
“I think we have a bunch of boys that love the game of football and want to do good things. Last year we finished 5-3 and there’s no doubt we have to improve upon that,” said head coach Jory Thompson. “I love where we’re at. We have great team speed, overall team speed. We have kids that understand the game of football and love to fly around and bring it. We’ve excited.”
“It feels like we’re picking up right where we left off last year. That’s always on the back burner that we didn’t make the playoffs,” said junior wide receiver and linebacker Garret Diekhans. “That’s a lot of fuel for this year’s team. Hopefully we can make it this year.”
With so many returners coming back this year for Fort Benton, this makes them look especially loaded on defense. This team doesn’t just track down the ball, it swarms.
“Defensively I think is going to be our strength. We swarm. We have a d-line that can get off the ball,” said Thompson. “We have linebackers that can read plays and move. A good safety, I think definitely defensively is going to be our strength.”
“Flying to the ball mainly. Our team speed is great. When we swarm on defense and score on offense, it’s game over,” said junior center and defensive end Stetson LeFurgey.
The vibe is that this 2018 Longhorns team will finally break into the playoffs for the first time since 2010. If Fort Benton has the opportunity like last year to get in, don’t be surprised if this group finds what it takes to not only punch their ticket, but thrive in the second season.
“We just need to be more prepared mentally I think. Fort Benton hasn’t been in the playoffs for a while and we’re all ready to get back in it,” said junior quarterback and safety Max Lane. “If we get that opportunity again I guarantee we won’t blow it.”
Fort Benton will begin the season on August 24th on the road against Tri-Cities at 7 pm.