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      2014 KHQA Barnstorm Tour: QUINCY HIGH


      They broke through last Fall for the first ever postseason victory in program history....

      But the question remains, are the Quincy High Blue Devils capable of advancing the narrative with an even grander encore in 2014?

      Rick Little: "Eight years ago there was no pressure. Now there is pressure to get back where we're at. We talk to the kids all the time, it's kind of our saying. Pressure is a privilege. The kids know now that the standard has been set, if we don't get to that point, by our standards, it's been a disappointing season."

      Bryce Unmisig: "I like to thank the coach for that one. He's pushed us as players getting up this early. Working and grinding and just trying to take that next step."

      George Crickard IV: "Definitely looking for a conference championship. We're looking to, you know, continue our great season we had last year. Just build off that."

      New benchmarks chased by a host of quote/unquote new faces. That's Quincy High football in 2014. The franchise names have graduated. But the Blue Devils don't lack for willing and let me underscore this, capable replacements.

      Rick Little: "That's a situation where, yeah, people may think the cupboard's bare. But it's not. I mean, you know, our kids 9-12 last year only lost five games and three at the varsity level. Now we know all that's JV success and we understand that, but there's good young kids that are coming. Like I said, they want to be the next Robbins, the next Bondon."

      Exhibit A: the Blue Devils trademark run game. Which is still very much intact with Bryce Unmisig leading the charge after a late season star-turn and Brady Brockmiller coming off a stellar summer.

      Bryce Unmisig: "We've got some guys that are willing to step up. You know, from the JV level. They see guys like me, guys like Brady, like Seth, we're going to keep pushing and keep working to show them that this is the Blue Devil standard."

      But the growth of this program is underscored by the rising standards in facets of the game that aren't tradition QHS strong suits. The fact that better and better offensive linemen year by year show up on the scene.

      Tyler Paul: "I think it's going to be better then last year. We're a little bit more beefier, a little more quicker and stronger then last year."

      And the deliberate push to cultivate a more evolved pass component to this offense.

      George Crickard IV: "I think we've been running this system real well. We've been doing it for two years now. Most of the guys have learned, you know, what needs to be done and what needs to be done on Friday nights to win."

      Little: "Yeah, George is extremely talented. He's a guy I may take for granted a little bit. He's very smart. One of the smartest quarterbacks I've had. He does a great job of throwing the football. Great leader and runs the offense. Seth Holtschlag, Donavin Ruths, two seniors that play a lot for us. When you look at what they bring and their level of physicality and their overall skill set, any team would love to have two tight ends like that and we're very fortunate."

      The more pressing preseason questions arise on the other side of the football. Though Rick Little thinks he's found his rainmaker in a converted middle linebacker.

      Seth Holtschlag: "I haven't played middle linebacker since freshman year and it's going to be a little different but I think I'm up for the challenge. Of course, we're trying to make a statement. Last years team was statistically ever. So, we're just trying to make a statement and show that our boys are better then them."

      Little: "We've got tremendous players. But Seth is that guy who is a physical presence. The neat thing about Seth is he's been a starter for three seasons. You couldn't hurt him with a hammer, he's that type of kid."{>}