MONTICELLO (WCIA) — Monticello football will look a lot different this season, losing 15 senior starters will do that to a team, but that’s not slowing head coach Cully Welter down. The Hall of Fame coach opened up his 11th season with the Sages on Monday, with the same goal in mind, to still be playing on Thanksgiving weekend.
“Every day is a different year and we’re well aware of how much we graduated from last year,” Welter said. “So we never put the cart before the horse, we’re always thinking of getting enough wins to get to playoffs and it obviously starts with day one.”
The Sages spent Monday primarily base line testing, not playing football. They’ll work their way on to the field soon, as they get set for their first game on Aug. 30 at Olympia. It will be Welter’s 26th year as a head coach. He has four state titles, two runner-up finishes and a 225-66 record. He’ll have to replace 15 starters, mostly on offense, where only three guys are back. Linemen Nick Wassom and Briggs Fultz, and receiver Spencer Brown are the only three returners on that side of the ball.
“You always try to do as good, or better than last year,” Monticello senior receiver Spencer Brown said. “But last year’s seniors really set the bar high for us.”
The defense returns its leading tackler, Henry Dawson, meaning that will likely be the strength of this team at the start of the season. The Sages play their first two games of the year on the road.