Fisher— When Fisher football opened up practice earlier this month there was an excitement in the air.
“Having that week off really got the kids excited to get back on the field,” Head Coach Jake Palmer said.
The coaches have something to be excited about to, Will Delaney and Tyler Wilson are back to lead the Bunnies offense.
Palmer says that Delaney is ready for his second go-around as the Bunnies quarterback “This is Will’s second year at the helm, he’s really grown a lot,” Palmer said.
Wilson came with in 25 yards last year of breaking a 10-year old school rushing record set by Colton Unzicker in 2008. Wilson is poised to make a run at the record again this year.
“He just runs really hard and he put on some weight,” Palmer said.
Wilson and Delaney could both benefit from a strong O-line that is returning 4 guys that started at least 3 games last season. The Bunnies have the bodies up front but Palmer knows they still have work to do.
“We just need to get stronger,” Palmer said
Fisher opens up its 2019 campaign on Friday night at home against Hoopsten/Armstrong. The Bunnies defeated the Cornjerkers 52-12 in week one last year. Palmer knows that any game from 2018 doesn’t carry over to 2019.
“Last year doesn’t matter, neither team has had success or failure in 2019. Both teams are 0-0,” Palmer said.
With a new leadership in Hoopsten the Bunnies don’t knowwhat to expect from the 2019 Cornjerkers.
“With a new coach we don’t know a lot about them. I know they have been working hard in the weight room and played in some 7 on 7 games but thats about it,” Palmer said.
Not knowing much about an opponent could cause some problems for the Bunnies.
“We’re going to have to go play football and figure it out as we go,” Palmer said.
The Bunnies are coming off a strong 7-2 regular season record that found the Bunnies in the second round of the IHSA playoffs before getting bounced by Argenta-Oreana.
On the defensive side of the ball Palmer says there is work to do on the ground.
“We were pretty strong in the air last year, we only allowed one passing touchdown. We did struggle against strong running teams,” Palmer said.
The schedule for the Bunnies is not going to be a cake walk.
Coach Palmer knows that there will be an early test.
“Week 2 at Tremont is a game I’m looking at as a season predictor. They have a bunch of returners and we squeaked past them last year,” Palmer said
The Bunnies take on two time defending 2A state champions the Gibson City Melvin Sibley Falcons in week 5. The Falcons handed the Bunnies its first loss of the 2019 campaign.
The second loss came in week 9 against Leroy. The Panthers will visit Fisher in Week 9 this year.
“I think the kids are excited to have a chance to play them again,” Palmer said
The Bunnies will look to two up and comers to help them avenge those two loses from last year.
Junior Calen Ragle will be a player to watch out for this season.
“Calen is a three sport athlete with a great work ethic,” Palmer said.
Junior Halfback Drew Purvis is expected to help bolster the Bunny backfield.
“Drew provides more size than we have had at halfback in the past,” Palmer said.
You can contact Ryan Birch at Rbirch@rantoulpress.com or on twitter @RyanBirchRP