MONTICELLO (WCIA) — The Illini Prairie Conference is always a beast come football season, which makes Monticello’s recent run of success in the division all that more impressive.

The Sages made it 12 seasons in a row in the postseason last year, not including the Spring 2021 season where no playoff was held. Head coach Cully Welter returns about half of his offensive and defensive starters, but senior Drew Sheppard is taking over the reins at quarterback with Joey Sprinkle graduating.

“He’s had a really good summer, he’s a good kid,” Welter said. “He’s a straight A student with great leadership skills so we’re happy with him so far.”

“I have a long family line of quarterbacks,” Sheppard said. “My grandfather, my dad, both my uncles, so it kind of runs in the family, I guess. It’s an amazing feeling. It brings along a little bit of nervousness and anxiousness, but I’m also extremely excited to be in that spot and be able to help out my teammates and lead them.”

The Sages will host IPC rival St. Joseph-Ogden in Week 1.