DOWNS, Illinois (WMBD) – Tri-Valley has been one of the most dominating teams in the Heart of Illinois Conference the last two seasons.

But with nearly all the starters from those teams gone, the Vikings find themselves entering 2023 in an unusual position: as an underdog.

With several underclassmen filling holes in the roster, it’s an unusual position for the team but they’re still willing to embrace the narrative.

Just extra motivation I mean. You know the last couple playoff runs and now that we’re losing a lot of people, people really do view us as underdogs and I’m pretty excited for that. Because I’m excited to prove people wrong. I know it’s like tough being an underclassmen getting to play, but I really believe in them and I believe by the end of the season we’re gonna keep getting better.

Vincent Vedra, Tri-Valley Senior Wide Receiver

Coach Roop told us we can’t be content with what happened last year. We have to keep going this year and we just wanna make it back, make another deep run. You know they’ve been watching us for years. We gotta a lot of young guys to teach and they’re going to have to make the plays this year.

Colton Prosser, Tri-Valley Free Safety

It’s nice to be the underdog again. It’s going to be an exciting year because we do have some new faces and I think we have some guys that are going to surprise people.

Josh Roop, Tri-Valley Head Coach