MACKINAW, Illinois (WMBD) – The Dee-Mack Chiefs had a solid year down in the 2A ranks in 2021.

They’re coming off a run to the second round of the playoffs, their first time to the postseason since 2017. It’s a small school rooted in football tradition that won a state title just five years ago.

But, they still feel overlooked heading into 2022 after they lost some key contributors to graduation. While around half their starters will be back this year, many of the keys to their offense from last season will be gone.

That hasn’t diminished their hopes though for a good year and they’re playing with a chip on their shoulder.

“Just make it further than last year, that’d be a huge accomplishment for us and i think it would be pretty good to make it further than last year. Because people are doubting us right now and I really want to prove them wrong.”

Drew Butler, Dee-Mack Wide Receiver/Corner

“We return 6 sophomore starters from a second-round playoff team but we lose some really big pieces and some super important seniors. We have a bear of a schedule. We think the world of the HOI conference and we start out with two Final Four teams from last year. It’s about as tough as it gets for us. But we’re excited we’re up for the challenge. And who would we be if we backed down.

Cody Myers, Dee-Mack Head Coach

The Chiefs open their season up against 1A state semifinalist Ridgeview-Lexington.