North Vermilion Patriots
2017 Record: 6-5
How it Happened: Behind 1,500 yards from tailback Malik Criner, the Patriots wrestled their way to the program’s first winning record since 2012.
Under new head coach Brett Blakey, there is belief in the Patriots locker room that they are on the verge of a breakout season. North Vermilion returns nine starters on offense, including all five offensive linemen, three-year starting quarterback Garrett Becker, and Criner, which makes North Vermilion’s offense one of the most experienced in 8-3A. North Vermilion’s defense will be young and is going through a schematic changes, but if the offense can support the team early, NVHS could be heading towards consecutive winning seasons, and perhaps the program’s first playoff win since 2012.