Bunnies senior class was historic

Bunnies head coach Jake Palmer talking to his team following the playoff victory over Cumberland. (Ryan Birch/Rantoul Press)

 

FISHER —  In Jake Palmer’s first season as head coach of the Fisher Bunnies, his squad went 1-8 and averaged 10 points a game.

Since then, they’ve been to the playoffs the last three seasons and now have a new single-season rushing leader and all-time career passing leader. 

Palmer gives the credit to his seniors who came in as freshmen his first season at the helm. 

“This group has been so awesome; no matter the situation they just kept fighting and clawing and really set the culture here at Fisher,” Palmer said. 

Tyler Wilson holds Fisher’s single-season rushing title with 2,063 yards in 2019 and finished his career with 3,746 yards, which is good for third all time. 

Palmer said Wilson is one of the best runners he has had the pleasure of being around.

“Tyler is one of the toughest kids I have ever coached,” Palmer said. “He grinds out the yards, and he deserved every yard he got.”

Will Delaney is the new Fisher all-time passing leader with a career total of 1,971 yards. Delaney had 1,059 yards in 2019 after passing for 912 in 2018. 

Palmer said not only was Delaney a great on-field quarterback, he was just as important off the field. 

“Will is one the best leaders I have ever coached,” Palmer said. “No matter where he was on the field you felt like you were in a good position for him to make a play,”

In 2017 the Bunnies had a 6-3 regular season record with a first-round playoff loss to Aquin Catholic. 

Last season Fisher boasted a 7-2 regular season record before picking up a first-round win over Toledo Cumberland. The Bunnies then fall in the second round to Argenta-Oreana.

This season was nothing short of spectacular for the Bunnies. They followed up last season with another 7-2 regular season record and another another first-round victory over Toldeo Cumberland. The Bunnies’ season ended in the second round for the second straight year to Central A&M. 

Fisher’s season included back-to-back victories, over Heyworth and Dee-Mack which saw the Bunnies score a game-winning touchdown with 13 seconds to go in both games. 

Palmer gives credit to his guys for getting in the weight room, which allowed them to outmuscle  teams when it came to the end of the game.  

“We were undersized compared to other teams,” Palmer said. “This is our strongest team we have had, and I think that showed and allowed us to be more physical.”

The Bunnies’ senior class accomplished success that had not been done at Fisher in quite some time. Palmer let his team know how much they had meant to the town and teams to come.

“It’s always hard at the end of the season to know what to say,” Palmer said. “I told the seniors how proud of them I was. They won 16 games in two years, and that has never been done at Fisher before.”

The Bunnies had not been to the playoffs three years in a row since 2004-2006. 

Although Fisher will lose Delaney and Wilson next season, Palmer says the senior class has left a legacy that will not be forgotten. 

“Once you have players that have seen the seniors set the tone. I don’t think a lot needs to be said,” Palmer said. “They saw how it’s done and I think that will carry over.”

Palmer said coaches and other teams now know what they are going to get when they step on the field with the Bunnies.

“I think they know when they play Fisher it’s going to be a fight,” he said. “No matter what the talent level is we’re going to fight in between those lines.”

You can contact Ryan Birch at Rbirch@RantoulPress.com or on Twitter at @RyanBirchRP.