HOLTON (KSNT) – Tradition is always rich in Holton.
The Wildcats are a perennial powerhouse and were one win away from reaching the state title matchup in 2013.
“It’s been a really enjoyable group of kids,” Holton head coach Brooks Barta said. “We’re really green, we only have three starters back so it’s going to take us some time but they’re doing a good job.”
Over the last two seasons, Holton put together a (27-1) record.
“Just a lot about toughness and intelligence,” Holton senior tight end/linebacker Nils Bergsten said. “That’s what Barta preaches a lot about. We just go out and hit hard every day and we just get after it.”
Brooks Barta begins his 19th year at Holton and he’s captured three state championships during that time.
“It’s sometimes nerve-racking,” Holton senior offensive/defensive lineman Cooper Allen said. “You’re trying to live up to the expectations that everybody wants you to be but it’s also kind of exciting because you get to be one of those guys that was so great the year before and the year before that. It’s like an honor to be on this team.”
The Wildcats graduated plenty of talented players, but are still prime to compete for a state title in the newly formed Class 4A Division II.
“Feeling like pulling out a state championship,” Holton senior running back/linebacker Indie Allen said. “I think that’s what this town wants and we’re going to give it to them.”
Holton’s district is new, but the teams are all familiar because the three opponents are from the Big Seven League: Perry-Lecompton, Jeff West and Royal Valley.
“Playoffs are going to look a little bit different than what we’ve seen in the past but we’re a small school and our numbers are down too so it’s a great chance for us to compete,” Barta said.