Winning a conference title puts a target on your back. Winning it back-to-back is always the goal despite that and that is exactly what the Sand Creek Aggies will try to do this season. This is going to be a fresh new team though at some of the key positions.
The Aggies are known for their option offense. This year it will be lead by senior Kolton Alcock. He has had some reps behind their quarterback last year, but he will be featured this time. Lucky for him, three starters on the offense line return this season. They are lead by Garrett Miller. There will quite a few running backs getting touches, which should help keep each one fresh and wear out the defense.
On the other side of the ball, the Aggies will look to have similar dominance they did last year when they ranked second in the county. They return 4 starters, one of which is their middle linebacker Elliot Rains. The rest of their starters will be on the defense line, which will look to keep the other side occupied while the linebackers roam free. With an all new secondary, they will be hoping for pressure to help them out. They are fairly short in the defensive backfield, so any teams with height at receiver will give them trouble.
Their first test will be against their week one opponent as they travel up to face the Laingsburg Wolfpack. These two teams have never met before. Laingsburg will have an advantage in that the game will be home for them, but they will be taking on a young Sand Creek team. I look for Sand Creek to win this game, but I believe it will be a good one and it should be close.
Sand Creek will need to build some momentum from their game against Lainsburg, as in week two they will face the toughest team on their schedule as they host the Dundee Vikings. The Vikings are a bigger school and had an 8-3 record in a tougher conference, so the Aggies will need to rise to the occasion. This game should provide them with valuable experience to move forward.
Other games on the schedule that will be interesting are against the Summerfield Bulldogs, Morenci Bulldogs and the Britton-Deerfield Patriots. Sand Creek defeated all of these opponents last year, Summerfield and Morenci by similar scores of 14-7 and Britton-Deerfield went down 34-12. The games against Summerfield and Morenci will be on the road this year, which will make it tougher. The Aggies will host the Patriots for the final game of the year.
I see Sand Creek having another solid season. I predict they will have either an 8-1 or 7-2 year, depending on what they do in their first game. I believe Dundee will beat them, but I think they should run the table after that. I think the TCC title will come back to Sand Creek and the playoffs should be very interesting. They could probably host at least a playoff game or two with what I think their record will be, so if they get a favorable match up, they could get a couple extra games this season.