BYRON (WREX) — Byron came up just short of winning a state championship last year, falling in the 3-A title game. The Tigers return several key players from last year’s group, and they’re hungry to return to that level and take the final step this year.
“We made a big group chat,” senior lineman Tyler Elsbury, an Iowa commit, said. “Everyone talks in there to keep everyone motivated and focused. We’ve always had a chip on our shoulder but it keeps getting bigger and bigger.”
Big expectations are nothing new for head coach Jeff Boyer and his team. This year marks the 20-year anniversary of Byron’s last state championship, which Boyer helped win as the quarterback for the team. Now he wants to help these kids take the next step in helping bring another championship to Byron.
“I think it’s the mentality we’ve had at Byron for a number of years,” Boyer said. “In 2017, we had a tough loss to I.C. [Immaculate Conception], and came back and were maybe better than the year before.”
The Tigers are a run-heavy team, and they dare other teams to try to stop them.
“People can know we’ll run it, but it’s hard to stop it,” senior quarterback Ben Carlson said. “We have so many strong guys, a powerful line, fast backs like Drake Snodgrass, Isaac Stickler. We throw a pass out there and keep them off their feet.”
Coach Boyer says it’s a different puzzle to put together every year when trying to determine who should play where, along with balancing touches and playing time. But this team is ready to sacrifice for the ultimate goal.
Byron opens its season Aug. 30, at home against Winnebago.