LeBlond Pursues Unfinished Business behind New Quarterback

Published 08/19 2014 09:48AM

Updated 08/19 2014 10:40AM

(ST. JOSEPH) After winning two combined games in 2010 and 2011, Bishop LeBlond has trended upward in the four years since with Tony Dudik at the helm.

The Eagles have reached back-to-back Class 2, District 8 title games, but are still chasing a championship after falling short both times.

"If you come out, give your best, and play for each other, then you have a chance. That's what we have here," Dudik said. "We respect everybody, but I certainly believe we don't fear anybody."

That confidence fueled LeBlond to give Maryville its biggest scare during their current 30-game win streak. The Eagles led in Maryville with under three minutes to go in Week 4, but fell 18-16. LeBlond then took eventual Class 2 runner-up Lawson to the wire in the district championship before losing another one-score affair.

Those margins show the progress the program has made.

"After that game, we had a different mindset that we could compete with everyone," senior receiver/defensive back Cort Patrick said. "That's how we're looking at it this year."

The Eagles lost 11 seniors, including quarterback Matthew McCullough and wideouts Tyler Thrasher and Patrick Dillon. It's the first time in four years LeBlond will have a new quarterback, but Dudik is confident in new starter Jack Schanze.

"I felt like last year, if Jack was at a couple different schools that we played, he would've been the starter," he said. "Very rarely do you have a four-year starter like McCullough. We're not going to be the same type of team, but Jack can throw the football and he can lead the team."

Schanze still has a pair of senior pass catchers in Patrick and Quentin Obermeier to help fill that leadership role. 

"I put all my confidence in them. You can't always replace the same person, but with them coming up, I believe they can do everything the guys last year did," senior offensive/defensive lineman Connor Haynes said. 

The confidence has LeBlond believing they can complete their district run and do more postseason damage in 2014.

"Nothing is a gimme this year. We have a really hard schedule and just have to go out and compete every week," senior running back/linebacker Tim Romesburg said.

The Eagles open the season at Pembroke Hill on August 22. 

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