EDWARDSVILLE – For the second year, Metro-East Lutheran and Madison will go through the football season as a coop program.

Get The Latest News!

Don't miss our top stories and need-to-know news everyday in your inbox.

The coop last year was a huge success even though the Knights finished 0-9. Optimism is running high at both schools for this coming football season, which begins in Edwardsville at 7 p.m. Friday as the Knights take on Prairie State Conference rival Bunker Hill in a non-conference game.

Participation from both MEL and Madison is up for the 2016 edition of the team; a total of 41 players will be on the roster when the Knights and Minutemen take the field this evening. “We're really excited,” said Knight coach Matt Tschudy. “The number of players from both schools are up from last season and I know both communities are really looking forward to the season.

“The coop has really brought people from both schools together and it's been a really good thing for both schools; we're very thankful for the coop and it's really been a good thing for everyone.”

The games against the Minutemen will be bookends for this season's MEL-Madison schedule, with the league game slated for Week 9 in Bunker Hill.

Article continues after sponsor message

“We'll do the same things on offense and defense that we've done before,” Tschudy said. “We'll be prepared for anything.

“We do know that Bunker Hill will be a physical football team and they've got some experience from last year (where the Minutemen finished the year at 4-5) and they've got a lot of guys back.”

“We plan on running the ball more than we have,” said Minutemen coach Tom Haynes. “What we'll do will be dictated by the situation; we have 27 guys on our roster and we'll have a lot of our youngsters going both ways.

“We do think things are on the way up here; we had 24-26 players taking part in our summer conditioning program and we're demanding more of ourselves as far as football goes.”

Like programs throughout the state, the Minutemen are ready to strap on the pads and play a game after going through preseason practice. “We're ready to go out there and have some fun,” Haynes said.

“We're ready and excited,” Tschudy said of the impending start of the season.

More like this:

Aug 12, 2016 | Metro East Lutheran-Madison has nearly 40 gridders out, coach has solid expectations

Aug 11, 2015 | Metro East Lutheran-Madison begin quest together toward 2015 football season

Sep 11, 2015 | MELHS-Madison make history today with first game at Madison since 1992

Sep 12, 2015 | MELHS-Madison play first game in Madison in 23 years against Bunker Hill

Sep 5, 2017 | MEL football beginning new era with Pomerenke at the helm, coach remains optimistic