IRAAN -- The Iraan braves are coming off an impressive 9-3 campaign a year ago while sharing the district title with McCamey. And with new head coach Mark Kirchhoff taking the reigns, they'll have a good shot to repeat that success.
Kirchhoff takes over the team after former coach john fellows was let go. He has an impressive resume, coming over from Fall City where he won a state title just 2 years ago.
The Braves return 11 starters this season including their starting quarterback (Zeth Hernandez) and his favorite target (Austin Ramirez) on offense. On defense, the team will rely on returning leading tackler Wheeler Allen.
Both the head coach and his players know that this season is going to be build on high expectations.
"My expectation level is at where we start out," said Kirchhoff. "We've had great success in Fall City. We've had 5 consecutive trips to the quarterfinals down there, so when I got here, I don't see it as added pressure. Thats just the expectation level you know to come in and take this program and turn it into one of the elite programs in the state."
"I knew he was going to be tough and he knows how to win and thats good," said Hernandez. "We need that around here."
"There's tons of pressure on us," said Allen. "Last year we didn't get that outright district championship like we had in years past so we're definitely looking to get that back in Iraan and looking to make a deeper run in the playoffs this year."
The Braves open their season on the road August 31st against Seagraves.