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  • Fairbury News staff

Coach Goodwin era begins

(Coach Mike Goodwin works with players at football practice Tuesday at PCHS)

It is a new era for Prairie Central High School football as Mike Goodwin has taken the reigns as head coach.

The kids have been working hard and the weather cooperated for the first week of practice.

“We’ve got soft ground and a cool breeze, so it’s good for them,” Goodwin told Fairbury News from the PCHS practice field Tuesday.

Goodwin feels his first Hawk team is very athletic with kids that can make some plays. They are senior heavy and the junior class is talented even though there aren’t many of them.

Fundamentals and getting in shape were the focus early in the week.

“I think we are deeper than I anticipated so that’s always a pleasant surprise.”

Defensively, Goodwin expects the team to be sound.

“Any time Dan Groce is coaching defense, they are going to be good.”

Goodwin was an assistant at Normal Community High School for many years then worked for his friend Hal Chiodo at Ridgeview-Lexington most recently. He is also friends with former PC coach Andrew Quain who stepped down after last season.

New faces coaching under Goodwin include Todd Miller who was the defensive coordinator at Ridgeview-Lexington and retired Unit 5 teacher Jeff Cole who Goodwin considers one of the best football officials in the state who has switched to coaching. Coaches Groce, Dunahee and Welch are still involved with the PC program.

PC senior and right guard Jacob Vega feels excited to be with the team again and is ready for a successful season. In fact, his goal is to play his heart out this year.

“There’s a lot to learn but the new guys are picking it up pretty quick,” said Vega.

Wide receiver and outside linebacker Tyler Curl, also a senior, admits it doesn’t seem real football is back already and his senior year is here.

“We had a good first day and we’re just getting the grasp of things again,” noted Curl.

Curl can’t help but look back at last year’s success.

“We had a really good squad for almost every sport, so that’s the goal I guess to go 9-0 again but it’s going to be tough.”

After summer basketball action, it’s right into football for Curl.

“I’m always doing something and never stop. I’m one sport to another.”

The Hawks open the season Aug. 25 on the road at Tolono Unity. Fairbury News is once again your home for PC football with Jeff Curl and Mike Wolf calling the action each week all season long. Our Thursday night sports shows at Emancipation Brewery return Aug. 31.

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