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Here's a look at each football team in the Central Illinois Conference
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Here's a look at each football team in the Central Illinois Conference

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Connor Heaton 1

Central A&M quarterback Connor Heaton could have the Raiders in contention for a CIC title. 

Central A&M Raiders

COACH: Brent Weakly

ENROLLMENT: 232

LAST YEAR'S RECORD: 8-4, 4-3 CIC

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Connor Heaton, Sr. QB; Jacob Paradee, Sr., WR/DB; Hunter Gregory, Sr., RB/LB; Connor Hutchins, Sr., WR/ILB; Nick Collins, Jr., WR/DB; Brycen Burgener, Sr., WR/DB; Riley Kelso, Jr., Brady Patton, Jr., HB/OLB; Dalton Nichols, So., RB/DB; TE/LB; Jeske Maples, Sr. OL/DL

OUTLOOK: After advancing to the Class 1A quarterfinals last season, a lot is expected from the Raiders this season, especially offensively. Returning senior quarterback Connor Heaton threw for 2,554 yards and 25 touchdowns last year while running for 473 yards and nine TDs. Senior wide receiver Jacob Paradee is the Herald & Review's preseason pick for the Area Player of the Year and he could surpass his impressive output from last season (1,592 receiving yards and 19 receiving touchdowns). 

SCHEDULE

Aug. 30 - at Westville

Sep. 6 - Nokomis

Sep. 13 - at Tuscola

Sep. 20 - Warrensburg-Latham

Sep. 27 - at St. Teresa

Oct. 4 - at Shelbyville

Oct. 11 - Clinton

Oct. 18 - Meridian

Oct. 25 - at Sullivan-Okaw Valley

Tyrese Petty

Clinton High School senior tailback Tyrese Petty will lead the Maroons' running game after picking up 827 yards last season. 

Clinton Maroons

COACH: Chris Ridgeway

ENROLLMENT: 594

LAST YEAR'S RECORD: 5-4, 3-4 CIC

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Tyrese Petty, Sr., RB/CB; Joseph Strange, Sr., WR/CB; Ty Berter, Sr., QB/SS; Garrett Wayne, SR., QB/WR/OLB; Clayton Welch, Sr., WR/SS; Braden Cross, Sr., G/MLB/OLB; Micah Downs, Sr., NG/MLB/G; Brett Reeves, Sr., C/DT; Damian Shaw, Sr., T/DT; Cody Peavler, Sr., OLB/FS

OUTLOOK: The Maroons improved from 3-6 to 5-4 last season and just missed qualifying for the playoffs. Head coach Chris Ridgeway is eager to have his team take that next step this season. Quarterback duties have shifted from Ty Berter to Garrett Wayne and running back Tyrese Petty will have a bigger running presence after his backfield partner Kolby Winter graduated. Class 1A State wrestling champion at 182-pounds Micah Downs anchors the experienced defensive line at nose guard. 

SCHEDULE

Aug. 30 - at Kincaid South Fork

Sep. 6 - OPEN DATE

Sep. 13 - at Shelbyville

Sep. 20 - Meridian

Sep. 27 - at Tuscola

Oct. 4 - St. Teresa

Oct. 11 - at Central A&M

Oct. 18 - Sullivan-Okaw Valley

Oct. 25 - at Warrensburg-Latham

Jacob Jones 1

Meridian quarterback Jacob Jones will also be a threat on the ground this season.

Meridian Hawks

COACH: Micah Sheppard

ENROLLMENT: 266

LAST YEAR'S RECORD: 1-8, 1-6 CIC

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Jacob Jones, Sr., QB/WR; Drew Hurelbrink, So., QB; Tommy Ozier, Sr., RB/CB; Graham Meisenhelter, So., RB/MLB, Lucas Clapp, Fr., WR; Walker Brown; Sr., OLB; Steven Stoots, Sr., OLB; Korey Damery, Sr., RB/FS; Caleb Edwards, Sr., G/DT

OUTLOOK: The Hawks' offense will be running through senior Jacob Jones one way or another. When Jones is not under center, he will be running the ball, with sophomore Drew Hurelbrink moving to quarterback. Meridian will also have to depend on younger players stepping up, including sophomore receivers Graham Meisenhelter and Lucas Clapp, to push a program forward that hasn't topped three or more victories in a season since 2009. 

SCHEDULE

Aug. 30 - at Oblong-Palestine

Sep. 6 - Kincaid South Fork 

Sep. 13 - St. Teresa 

Sep. 20 - at Clinton 

Sep. 27 - Sullivan-Okaw Valley 

Oct. 4 - at Warrensburg-Latham 

Oct. 11 - Shelbyville 

Oct. 18 - at Central A&M 

Oct. 25 - Tuscola

Kentrell Beck 1

Shelbyville's Kentrell Beck will move from receiver to quarterback this season after missing all of last year with a shoulder injury. 

Shelbyville Rams

COACH: Bill Duckett

ENROLLMENT: 323

LAST YEAR'S RECORD: 3-6, 2-5 CIC

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Kentrell Beck, Sr., QB/CB; Brayden Lynch, Sr., WR/OLB; Rope Hatfield, So., RB/LB; Josh Agin, Sr., FB/LB; Bryce Matthews, Sr., OL/DB; Colton Miller, Sr., TE/DL; Colton Reed, Sr., WR/DB; Brayden Smith, Sr., WR/DB; Jordan Winings, Sr., RB/LB; Grant Mose, Sr., OL/DL; Seth Robertson, Jr., LB; Holden Schmidt, So., RB/LB; Max Beyers, So., WR/DB. 

OUTLOOK: After missing more than a year with a shoulder injury, standout receiver Kentrell Beck returns to the Rams healthy and now as their staring quarterback. Coach Bill Duckett will look for several players to step up in the running game after leading rushers Cade Helton and Emric Messado graduated. Along with Beck's yards on the ground, sophomore Rope Hatfield will carry the brunt of the work in the Rams' ground game. 

SCHEDULE

Aug. 31 - at Seneca

Sep. 6 - Cerro Gordo-Bement

Sep. 13 - Clinton

Sep. 20 - at Sullivan-Okaw Valley

Sep. 27 - Warrensburg-Latham

Oct. 4 - Central A&M

Oct. 11 - at Meridian

Oct. 18 - at Tuscola

Oct. 25 - St. Teresa

Denim Cook 1

St. Teresa's Denim Cook (32) will be leading the Bulldogs' running game this season. 

St. Teresa Bulldogs

COACH: Mark Ramsey

ENROLLMENT: 398

LAST YEAR'S RECORD: 12-1, 7-0 CIC

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Jack Hogan, Sr., QB/CB; Denim Cook, So., RB/LB; Michael Less, Sr., WR/SS; Will Jameson, Jr., T/DT; Joey Staab, Sr., FS/CB; Griffin Taylor, Sr., FB/MLB; Jackson Hogan, Sr., G/DT; Seve Lampley, Sr., C/DE; Chord Miller, Jr., QB/FS

OUTLOOK: Perhaps the biggest question in the CIC this year is what St. Teresa's offense will look like without running back Jacardia Wright, who is now on the roster of Kansas State University. Senior quarterback Jack Hogan is poised for a big season, and look for wide receivers Michael Less and AJ Cherry to pick up a lot of catches as the pass takes a larger role this season. Sophomore Denim Cook could also keep the Bulldogs running game performing at a high level in his first year as a starting running back. 

SCHEDULE

Aug. 30 - at Downs Tri-Valley

Sep. 6 - OPEN DATE

Sep. 13 - at Meridian 

Sep. 20 - Tuscola 

Sep. 27 - Central A&M

Oct. 4 - at Clinton

Oct. 11 - Sullivan-Okaw Valley

Oct. 18 - Warrensburg-Latham

Oct. 25 - at Shelbyville

Sullivan-Okaw Valley Redskins

COACH: Nathan Becker 

ENROLLMENT: 489

LAST YEAR'S RECORD: 0-9, 0-7 CIC

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Luke Harlin, Jr., QB/DB; Eric Boomer, Sr., RB/LB; Dillon Wallace, Sr., WR/DB; Luke Vanderburgh, Jr., QB/LB; Mathew Welch, Jr., TE/LB; Ian Plank, Jr., WR/DB; Ethan Bartimus, Sr., OL/DL; Adam Collins, Sr., WR/DB; Caleb Hildebrandt, Sr., OL/DE; Dominick Kimberlin, Jr., WR/DB; Willie Gilbert, Jr., OL/LB; Brad Smith, Sr., OL/DL; Justin Helmith, Jr., OL/DL.

OUTLOOK: First-year Sullivan coach Nathan Becker looks to turn around a program that hasn't won a game since topping Meridian in Week 5 of the 2016 season. Becker has been a long-time assistant for the Redskins so he's familiar with the roster, which should help in getting the most out of his players. 

SCHEDULE

Aug. 30 - Nokomis

Sep. 6 - at Newton

Sep. 13 - at Warrensburg-Latham

Sep. 20 - Shelbyville

Sep. 27 - at Meridian

Oct. 4 - Tuscola

Oct. 11 - at St. Teresa

Oct. 18 - at Clinton

Oct. 25 - Central A&M

Logan Tabeling 1

Logan Tabeling (throwing) is taking the reins of the Tuscola offense this season. 

Tuscola Warriors

COACH: Andy Romine

ENROLLMENT: 305

LAST YEAR'S RECORD: 10-2, 6-1

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Logan Tabeling, Sr., QB/MLB; Lucas Kresin, Sr., WR/FS; Brandon Douglas, Sr., SB/FS; Ashton Jones, Sr., RB/SS; James Boyd, Jr., WR/CB; Jake Reed, Sr., WR/CB; Matthew Cantu, Sr., RB/OLB; Gibson Wells, Sr., DE/TE; Caden Cradle, Sr., T/NG, Michael Calderon, Jr., T/DT

OUTLOOK: Last season injuries threw the Warriors a curve ball, but they recovered and advanced to the Class 2A quarterfinals. Quarterback Luke Sluder has moved on to Illinois Wesleyan and senior Logan Tabeling will fill his shoes under center. Running back Matthew Cantu will look to build upon last year's successes and junior Brandon Douglas will also be a force to be reckoned with on both sides of the ball after catching 48 balls for 906 yards and 10 touchdowns last season. 

SCHEDULE

Aug. 30 - Villa Grove-Heritage 

Sep. 6 - at Arcola 

Sep. 13 - Central A&M 

Sep. 20 - at St. Teresa 

Sep. 27 - Clinton 

Oct. 4 - at Sullivan-Okaw Valley 

Oct. 11 - at Warrensburg-Latham 

Oct. 18 - Shelbyville 

Oct. 25 - at Meridian

Nate Hayes

Warrensburg-Latham quarterback Nate Hayes returns after leading the Cardinals to the playoffs in his first year under center. 

Warrensburg-Latham Cardinals

COACH: Aaron Fricke

ENROLLMENT: 293

LAST YEAR'S RECORD: 7-3, 5-2

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Nate Hayes, Sr., QB/CB; Jackson Cook, Jr., WR/CB; Austin Stock, So., WR/FS; Parker Hopkins, Jr., SB/FS; Clayton Bandy, So., T/DE; Adam Maxwell, Sr., NG/G; Liam Gallagher, Jr., RB/FS; Brandon Sliney, Sr., T/DT; Griffin Hawkins, Sr., MLB/C

OUTLOOK: Senior quarterback Nate Hayes will continue to be a dual threat for the Cardinals, who hope to make a repeat trip to the playoffs under coach Aaron Fricke. Warrensburg will also look to build a strong receiver corp with younger players after losing standout receivers Mitchell Leathers and Will Kent to graduation. Senior guard Adam Maxwell is the leading tackler that returns (44 tackles last year) and junior safety Liam Gallagher led the team in interceptions with three. 

SCHEDULE

Aug. 30 - Robinson 

Sep. 6 - at Fithian Oakwood 

Sep. 13 - Sullivan-Okaw Valley 

Sep. 20 - at Central A&M 

Sep. 27 - at Shelbyville 

Oct. 4 - Meridian 

Oct. 11 - Tuscola 

Oct. 18 - at St. Teresa 

Oct. 25 - Clinton

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