Smiley, Comets focusing on better start in 2019


FITHIAN (WCIA) — The Oakwood football team learned a lot from starting last season 0-3. The Comets bounced back to win five out of their next six games to make the postseason despite the poor stretch. Now they’re hoping to put that experience to good use this season.

“This year we learned that we don’t want to dig that hole again and we’re going to come out with a little more fire than we did at the beginning of last year,” Oakwood second-year head coach Al Craig said.

“We have to push more, we want more so I mean, we just have to work more and believe in ourselves,” Oakwood senior lineman Caide Borden said.

The Comets will be led by running back Colby Smiley. The senior rushed for 1,600 yards and 20 touchdowns last season. Rhett Harrison is back under center, pacing the way for the team’s 13 seniors who are once again looking to compete for a Vermilion Valley Conference title. Oakwood won a share of the program’s first championship last year with Bismarck-Henning-Rossville-Alvin. The Comets beat the Blue Devils, but both teams finished with one loss in league play.

“We just gotta come with a winning mindset,” Oakwood senior running back Colby Smiley said. “Can’t come heads down in the second half if we’re down by one or two touchdowns, we gotta come out and win the game.”

Oakwood opens the season next Friday night (Aug. 30) taking on Watseka.

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