Last year was Brian Dennisons fourth as the Silver Streak football coach. It was the only one in which the record regressed. It was also the only one that ended on a negative note. Dennisons first two seasons resulted in a pair of 2-7 records. After improving to 4-5 in 2000 and coming close to making the playoffs Galesburg slipped back again to a 2-7 record. Worse, they were blown out in their final game of the year against Peoria High. Once again, the main problem was defense. The Streaks gave up 274 points, an average of 30.4 per game. Dennison adjusted some personnel midway into the season which added some speed but the same results persisted.
On offense, the Streaks scored 175 points, an average of 19.4 per game. But take the 58-point effort against a poor Quincy team and the average dips to 14.6. Special teams were again a problem. The kicking game was so poor that Dennison junked the extra point attempts by the sixth week of the season and just tried to play for two-point conversions after a Streaks touchdown. 2001 Outlook
Quarterback: Jonathan Duffy took over this position in Game 3 last season. The 59² junior gained a lot of valuable experience but as fall camp started, Duffy and fellow-junior Steven Hoosen were in a competition for the starting job. ³Really, the only difference this year from last year is that Nate Scudder is out of the equation,² said Dennison. ³Duffy has the upperhand because of the experience he gained longest in practice is 44 yards. Blackwell will do the punting and Greene and Smith hope to create havoc on the kick returning team.
Team Strengths: A healthy Blackwell and the running game will be this teams meat and potatoes. If Galesburgs running game can dominate it does several things (1) consumes the clock (2) keeps the defense off the field and (3) enables Duffy or Hoosen to pick and choose on his passing. Streak quarterbacks faced too many third and long situations his sophomore year which resulted in interceptions and too many hits.
Team Weaknesses: The defense has to step up and stop the opposing running attack. The secondary has to be more aggressive against the run. Special teams dont need to make great plays, they just need to stop making plays that hurt the team.
Schedule: The Streaks play their first three games at home and six on the season. ³Weve told them that all they have to do is hold their court at home,² said Dennison. ³They just need to hold their turf. Weve talked about that a lot. Win at home and steal one on the road and this could be a special season.²
Key to the season: The offensive line. ³We have to sell our big kids that they are the real deal,² said Dennison. ³Galesburg fans will see the most biggest and physical Galesburg team in years when we break the huddle. But we have to get them to compete. Not just for the season but for their job. They have to line up against their teammates and win the job. They may take their lumps early but this is without a doubt the biggest offensive line weve had since Ive been here.²