Merkel Badgers hope to challenge for district title

Entering his fifth season as coach of the Merkel Badgers, coach John Cornelius’ program is finally reaching the point where his system is firmly in place.

Players who began his tenure in middle school are now on the varsity roster, with as much as four years of experience in his playbook.

It began to pay off with last years’ 7-6 finish and a playoff push that went three rounds deep. This year, with six starters on both sides of the ball and 14 returning lettermen, the Badgers may have enough familiarity with the system to reload, rather than rebuild.

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