Hillsboro-Central Valley football returns to the field with shoes to fill

The Burros are the defending class 2A North Dakota State Champions

BUXTON, N.D. —  Hillsboro-Central Valley football enters the 2020 season asking who’s next?

The Burros went undefeated last season and are the defending Class 2A champions.

They were led by a talented class of 15 seniors in 2019 that included the North Dakota Gatorade Football Player of the Year and current NDSU running back, Oscar Benson.

With only a handful of starters returning, there is a lot of room for new guys to step up.

“Running back, quarterback, wide receiver, we lost all those guys and about 90% of our scoring,” said head coach, Scott Olsen. “We have a lot of holes to fill, but we have the guys to do it.”

“For some of us, we have been playing with those guys for a long time and it is nice to finally move up and kind of make our own name for ourselves,” said senior Luke Dryburgh.

At quarterback, Sam Preston is looking forward to showing what he can do. The senior, who also plays safety, did not take any snaps at the position last season, but says he is confident stepping into the big role.

“I don’t feel any pressure,” said Preston. “I got to learn from a great quarterback last year in one of my best friends, Micah Gallagher, and I am just ready to take the field.”

While there are still questions about who will be the next man up at many positions, the Burros will return the same stout defense that has become synonymous with the program.

“I think we are going to have a great defense this year, as always,” said Preston. “Coach O is a great defensive-minded coach and we got really good linebackers this year, so it is going to be nice to have that depth there.”

It is still unclear whether that strong defense and a new crop of talent will be able to defend last year’s title. The NDHSAA has yet to decide if fall postseason tournaments will be played.

Regardless, the Burros players and coaches feel fortunate that they at least have a regular season to prepare for.

The Burros will open up their season on August 28th at home against Grafton-St. Thomas

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