Okaw newcomers bring familiarity

Published 08/15 2014 05:09PM

Updated 08/15 2014 06:35PM

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Okaw Valley Conference will have a brand new look this year with the addition of St. Joseph-Ogden, St. Thomas More and Rantoul.  The Spartans and Sabers come over together from the Sangamon Valley Conference, where they were two of the league's premier teams.  Now the challenge gets ramped up a little more.

"It's gonna be a lot of competition every week, and we really just respect all these other teams," said St. Thomas More senior receiver Justin Bristow.  "We know where they've come from.  They know where we've come from.  It's obviously not gonna be a walk in the park."

St. Joseph-Ogden had the most success of all the Okaw newcomers last year, advancing all the way to the state title game.

"A lot of these guys got to play in a big game last year," said SJ-O head coach Dick Duval.  "Hopefully that will help them this year when we get into those big games, which there's gonna be quite a few of them during the regular season this year with this conference."

SJ-O and STM will play their Okaw Valley openers in week four against each other.

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