Canistota hoping to keep building off record win markCANISTOTA — Twenty-four straight wins is a record in Canistota. The Canistota High School football team has two state championships and hasn’t lost a game in the past two seasons.
By: Luke Hagen, The Daily Republic
CANISTOTA — Twenty-four straight wins is a record in Canistota.
The Canistota High School football team has two state championships and hasn’t lost a game in the past two seasons.
The Hawks, champions of Class 9A last year, open their season at 7 p.m. on the road against Howard today, looking to keep their two-year winning streak alive.
They’re ranked No. 1 and return a huge core of players, but being atop the rankings doesn’t matter one bit to head coach Lenny Schroeder and the team.
“Kids aren’t even talking about that,” Schroeder said. “It hasn’t even been brought up at practice. Rankings are nice, but it’s preseason and we haven’t even played a game yet. … We’re in the position where everyone is out to go get us. That’s a point we stress with our kids that everybody wants to be that team to knock us off.”
Canistota cruised through its 2010 season, winning all 12 of its games and dominating in the 9B championship game. The Hawks defeated Hitchcock-Tulare 66-0 for the title.
The year before, Canistota went 7-3, losing once to Hanson and twice to Emery-Ethan, including once in the playoffs. That year, both Hanson and Emery-Ethan went on to win state championships.
Losing to those teams helped build the Canistota football team into what it is today, Schroeder said.
“After that season, we looked at tape, and it wasn’t a matter of Xs and Os,” he said. “It was a matter of being in condition and having confidence you can play with the big boys.”
After the school won the title in 2010, it was just as powerful again last year en route to the 9A title, beating Wall 66-6 in the year’s final game.
Now, with 24 straight wins, the school is having its most successful run in football since the late 1950s and early 1960s, Schroeder said. He added the longest winning streak before the current one was eight games.
And there’s no reason to believe the team won’t continue being successful.
The Hawks return quarterback Cody Bunger, running back Alex Robertson and wide receiver Nick Hofer. The team’s leading tackler for the past two seasons, linebacker Eric Tieszen, is also back.
Canistota returns five starters on both sides of the ball this season, making for the most veteran group Schroeder has ever had.
“Our goal is to play each game the best we can,” Schroeder said. “We want to go into each game with a good attitude and good effort and live with the results. We’ve just been fortunate the last two years to win the way we have.”