ST. MARYS (KSNT) – St. Marys football is primed for a big season. After starting 0-3 the past year against tough opponents, the Bears went on a tear – winning the next five games and taking home a district championship.

“There’s nothing better than playing a good football team,” head coach Kyle Schenk said. “This year, we’re just trying to build off some success we kind of created at the end of last season. The seniors last year competed really well, and we’re trying to build off of what they built. We got a great group of seniors.”

Multi-sport star and quarterback Keller Hurla leads that group of seniors.

“Keller’s a great quarterback,” Schenk said. “He’s a great person as well.”

“He’s a great kid, but he’s a great player,” offensive coordinator Troy Biladeau said.

“It’s pretty good because not all the teams can have a quarterback as good as him,” receiver Abram Huaracha said.

“It’s really nice having him throw me the ball. It’s going to be there no matter what,” receiver Kason Gomez said. “Even if I miss a route or something, he still somehow gets it to me.”

Hurla’s knowledge makes him so great, and how he can handle whatever kind of offense coaches throw his way.

“Handing me the keys and allowing me to make plays,” Hurla said. “I think it’s going to be an explosive offense. Kind of just building off what we did in the second half of the year last year. Kind of spread it out a little more. Throw it around a little bit.”

The real mastermind behind the offense, though, is offensive coordinator Troy Biladeau. In his first season as OC this past year, he lead the Bears to the team’s highest-ever point total.

“Trying to be creative,” Biladeau said. “I want to have a play off a play. Always trying to give defenses different looks. We can do a lot of different things. We can go spread. We can go wishbone. We got a lot of different things in the playbook, but we just got great kids.”

The Bears get another daunting early schedule with Rossville, Rock Creek and Silver Lake, but the team hopes it can use those games to prepare for a deep postseason.

“There’s a lot of good teams in 1A,” Hurla said. “The goal is, obviously, to compete for a state championship. We’re just going to take it one week at a time and see where it takes us.”