PREP FOOTBALL BEGINS: Playoffs add to Monroe motivation – Monroe Evening News

Niles Kruger Monroe News sports editor NilesKruger

Aug 12, 2019 at 4:32 PM

Making the playoffs last season added some confidence for Monroe’s football players.

If it seemed like there was a little more pep in the step of Monroe High’s football players for the first official practice of the season, it’s probably because there was.

The Trojans qualified for the state playoffs last season for the first time in three years and the first time under coach Nick Notario.

“I think we’re more confident in what we’re doing now,” Notario said Monday as he opened practice for the fourth season at his alma mater. “You always want to win your conference and get to the playoffs. Last year we got in the playoffs and won a game.”

Monroe went 6-3 during the 2018 regular season, then won a playoff game against Woodhaven 62-28 before putting a scare into powerful Belleville before bowing 49-33.

“The guys worked their butts off during the offseason,” Notario said.

Getting to the playoffs can create motivation.

“We feel a little better after what we did last year,” said senior quarterback Wyatt Head. “We have more confidence.”

“It shows us where we want to be for our goals,” added senior lineman Lucas Ellis. “We’ve been working really hard. The seniors want to go out strong.”

Summer workouts are great, but Ellis said there always is something special about the first day of practice.

“There is a little more intensity,” he said. “it’s Day 1. We’re one day closer to hitting and one day closer to playing a game.”