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2016 Prep Football Previews: Brossart sets high goals for team with few returning starters

The NKyTribune will be providing focused coverage of NKY high school football throughout the season, thanks to support from St. Elizabeth Healthcare Sports Medicine. See all of our pre-season features on each of NKY’s 21 high school football teams and follow our coverage, including roundups each week at Northern Kentucky High School Football.

By Evan Merrill
NKyTribune intern

Coming off the most successful season in program history, the Bishop Brossart football team looks to carry on that momentum this year and take the next step: a playoff victory.

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Jake Martin is one of the returning players on the Brossart football that hopes to build on last year’s successful season. (Photo by Evan Merrill)

“We want to have a better record than last year,” said senior lineman Jake Martin.  “We were 9-1 (in the regular season). We want to go undefeated this year. We want to win one, if not more than one, playoff game, and maybe a state championship.”

Brossart, a private school with an enrollment of 279, returned to Class 1A last year and finished with a 9-2 record after losing to Raceland, 22-14, in the first round of the playoffs.

Switching classes helped Brossart build some success after going 8-21 as a Class 2A team the previous four years. During that time, they were in a district with Newport Central Catholic and Holy Cross, both of which won state titles.

“It was a tremendous move for us. We should have been there the entire time,” said Brossart coach Paul Wiggins. “It allowed these guys who’ve been getting their heads beat in at 2A to get their feet under them and realize they’re a 1A team and can compete at the 1A level.”

The talented group of seniors that put Brossart back on the winning track last season raised the reputation of the program. Martin said some other athletes at school joined the football team this year because of the success it had last year.

“In 2A my freshman and sophomore seasons, we didn’t win very many games (and) not many people wanted to be a part of it because we were being blown out by teams twice our size,” Martin said. “I think since we went down to 1A (we’re playing) teams we can be competitive with, teams that are small like us, and now we’re winning and people want to be a part of that.”

According to coach Wiggins, last year’s seniors instilled a tremendous work ethic that has carried over to this year’s team. The returning  players taking on leadership roles include Martin, senior quarterback Chase Keller, junior running back Bradley Moore and senior wide receiver/defensive end Kory Quitter.

“Success sometimes breeds success,” Wiggins said. “These (returning players) got to see what it was like to win, and in some cases win big. A lot of these young guys, freshman last year, played a lot. They got to get on the varsity field. So we’re hoping the experience they got out of a successful varsity season is with them and they carry it on from there.”

St-E-Football-plug-768x249Two players who graduated — quarterback Craig Pfefferman and running back Frank Cetrulo — provided most of the Mustangs’ offense last season. The team must also find a replacement for linebacker Griffin Goepper, the leading tackler on defense. But none of that kept Wiggins from setting goals to build upon last year’s success.

“People think we lost a ton, and we did. It’s hard to replace some of those guys from last year, but we have guys that are working hard,” Wiggins said.

“A young program needs to start setting bars. We did almost everything (last year) we set out as far as objectives go, where we wanted to be. We were very close to winning the district. Well, we want to win the district now and keep building on that.”

For a school that was on the brink of ending its football program two years ago due to lack of interest, bidding for a district title is quite a turn-around. Thankfully, last year’s seniors led the charge to stimulate interest. But the battle’s not over yet.

“Those seniors that graduated last year were catalysts in keeping the football team together,” Wiggins said. “What they did is their work ethic spread to underclassmen who adopted it too. We want to take this to higher levels. We’re still growing and the sky’s the limit for us.”


2015 SEASON: 9-2 record, lost in first round of Class 1A playoffs.
DISTRICT: Class 1A, District 5 with Berea, Bracken County, Nicholas County, Paris.
HEAD COACH: Paul Wiggins Jr. (10-10 in two seasons at Brossart).

Aug. 19 – at Dayton, 7 p.m.
Aug. 26 – AIKEN (Ohio), 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 2 – BELLEVUE, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 9 – at Trimble County, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 23 – at Nicholas County, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 30 – LUDLOW, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 7 – BRACKEN COUNTY, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 14 – PARIS, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 21 – at Berea, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 28 – PENDLETON COUNTY, 7:30 p.m.

Other NKyTribune prep football previews:
Dixie Heights






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