GENOA – When he was hired as Genoa-Kingston’s football coach, Cam Davekos said he wasn’t trying to reinvent the wheel when it came to the Cogs’ wing-T offense.
After a week of camps ended Thursday, senior tight end and linebacker Colin Nesler said the adjustment has been going smooth with the Cogs looking mostly the same as in the past. Mostly.
“We have a different playbook. I’m not going to give you much of it yet,” Nesler said. “But it’s a little different. We’re going to be fun to watch.”
Offensive and defensive lineman Michael Sauber said the biggest difference isn’t so much the plays as it is the players. The Cogs were senior-heavy during their abbreviated 3-0 campaign in the spring.
“The new stuff is the new people, really,” Sauber said. “We’re going to run the same thing, really. Things have been going strong. We have the same old good coaching and the same mentality of wanting to win.”
Fall practices start Aug. 9, with G-K playing its first game Aug. 27 at Winnebago.
The Cogs were one of three Big Northern Conference teams to go undefeated in the spring 2021 season, along with Rockford Lutheran (2-0) and North Boone (4-0).
In their last full season, the Cogs split the BNC title with Stillman Valley and Byron.
“We’ve been running these plays for a while,” Nesler said. “We’re running a lot of the same stuff, so we have that in our minds. The new stuff, he’s keeping it simple and we’re learning it pretty well.”
Davekos said he liked the way the team has looked so far, crediting his coaching staff – including Travis Fredericks, Jim Hughes, Ashton Brown, Bill Bolger and Griffin McNeal.
“I can’t say enough good things about coach Fredericks and how good the defense looks,” Davekos said. “We’re running a 4-4, and he’s got the kids flying around and excited. He’s done such a great job.”
Davekos is a 2007 graduate of G-K and got his degree from NIU. He was an assistant coach under former coach Chad Wilmarth for three years.
Davekos said the energy has been very high and the players are excited about a more normal-looking season.
“I feel like the kids can relate a little bit to me,” Davekos said. “I’ve been around the program for quite a while now. They’re comfortable with me, and I’m comfortable with them. Being able to talk with them, even about things outside of school and outside of football, we’re really comfortable with each other.”
Davekos said he’s sticking to what has led the Cogs to success over the past few years – G-K went 28-8 under Wilmarth and were 11-1 in coach Bill McCarty’s final year of 2016. They have made five straight postseasons.
“We’re staying familiar with what we do and what we do well,” Davekos said. “These kids have responded well to running the wing-T, so that’s what we’ll be staying with for the near future here.”
In the end, Nesler said, it’s still G-K football.
“Obviously, it’s a little different from Wilmarth,” Nesler said. “But it’s the same mentality. We’re here to win, and we’re going to have fun while doing it.”