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Seniors Prepped to Lead Shepherd Back to Playoffs

SHEPHERD – With 17 starters returning, the Shepherd football program looks to have one of its strongest teams in years as it embarks on 2016.

The Bluejays return 15 seniors and nine starters back on offense from last season’s 2-7 squad.

Once a perennial playoff program throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, Shepherd has struggled over the last decade, posting just two winning seasons (2007-2008) and going 7-47 over the last six seasons.

With so many pieces returning, expectations for 2016 are high, though.  

"They have some high expectations for themselves, and they’ve been working really hard this offseason to meet it,” coach Nate Ferency said. “They’re not looking back."

"I couldn’t be more excited about this season,” added senior Kyle Galgoci. “So many good things have been happening during the offseason. Our team goal is definitely playoffs, and we expect that to happen."

The Bluejays will have to navigate through a tough Tri-Valley Conference Central slate that features four 2015 postseason teams, not including an annual meeting with non-league foe and reigning Division 6 state champion Ithaca.

Shepherd opens its season by hosting Gladwin on Thursday.