LITTLE CHUTE (WLUK) -- Little Chute won five conference games last season but it wasn't enough to win the North Eastern Conference.
Wanting to become the fourth different team in as many years to win the NEC, the Mustangs have incentive and coach Brian Ryczkowski is optimistic.
Last year Little Chute went a respectable 7-4 and reached Level 2 of the playoffs. Obviously, the Mustangs want to improve on that this season and coach Brian Ryczkowski believes his team has that potential.
"I think this group of guys has seen what it takes to win and I think they're prepared to put in the work and preparation to maybe make run to have a real good season," he said.
The players have taken extra measures to give them the best shot to win the NEC.
"We've worked so hard this offseason," senior Isaac Van Deurzen said. "I'm excited to see what this team has for the regular season because we've done a lot of new things in the summer to change. We've talked about how we haven't gotten as far as we would've liked the past couple of years.
"We did a lot of tougher things this offseason in our liftings and our camps and the hard work we put in, I feel great about this year."
"During the summer we've really trained on how we can step it up from last year, and I know in the past we've always done things a certain way, but we've just kind of stepped it up to the next level," senior Bryce Schumacher said. "Push a little harder this year and get to know what we have to do a little bit better so that when it gets to game time we can perform."
Little Chute, which opens the season against rival Freedom, is confident but won't say it's the team to beat in the North Eastern Conference. Wrightstown is the defending champ in the NEC and probably is the team to beat based on that.
"I think we're going to do great things this year," Van Deurzen said. "I think a lot of teams are hoping to beat us. I don't want to say we're the team to beat I feel very confident with my teammates. I feel great for the season."
LITTLE CHUTE SCHEDULE
Aug. 17 Freedom
Aug. 24 at Oconto Falls
Aug. 31 Luyxemburg-Casco
Sept. 7 Marinette
Sept. 14 Clintonville
Sept. 21 at Fox Valley Lutheran
Sept. 28 Green Bay East
Oct. 5 at Denmark
Oct. 12 at Wrigthstown
Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay