ORFORDVILLE, Wis. - The Parkview football program is currently in survival mode.
A win or two in 2018 would be considered a nice bonus.
Parkview coach Bob Meyers, in his seventh season at the helm of the Parkview program, has already had to cancel its first game due to a lack of numbers thanks to a number of players serving a one-game suspension.
Now, the focus in on the final eight games of the campaign. The Vikings went 0-9 last year, and the dwindling numbers might make it difficult to notch a victory in the Trailways Large School Conference this season.
Despite the adversity, Meyers said the team does posses some strengths.
"I think if we stay healthy, we're going to have one of the better offensive lines that we've had since 2012," Meyers said. "We can put some really good players on the field on each side of the ball, but we don't have a lot of depth. There's a lot to like, I just don't know how it's going to hold up."
Virtually all of the Vikings' skill position players from last season are gone. Quarterback Ryan Miller, leading rusher Gavon Brown and other key contributors like Riley Carroll and Nathan Mohr graduated.
Jarrett Brown, who was the team's leading receiver last season, will step into the quarterback position. Brown caught 17 passes last season for the Vikings and he is a solid athlete that will provide a dual threat for the Vikings.
Braydon Tracy is the team's leading returning rusher after picking up 213 yards and a pair of touchdowns last season. Zac Unseth is also expected to be a solid contributor this season, while Korben Brown will be the team's starting fullback.
"We did lose quite a bit in those skill positions, but we've always thought the guys that backed them up were really good players," Meyers said. "We think they are all good players. I think we can put 11 good offensive players on the field."
Meyers sad the team is particularly young in the defensive backfield, meaning the Vikings could be vulnerable to some pass-heavy offenses.
Meyers said one of this coaching staff's main challenges this season will be to make sure the players maintain motivation.
"We haven't really talked about goals at this point," Meyers said. "Everybody can look around and understand what we have here. We try to tell them that each of them needs to approach it as though they are fighting for a job, instead of saying 'Well, I know that know matter what I'm doing, I'm going to play because there's nobody behind me.' That's not the way to be successful. That part of it can be hard."
The Trailways Conference once again stacks up to be a difficult conference.
"Markesan brings a lot of guys back this year," Meyers said. "Their head coach left and went to Darlington, so I'm not sure what we'll see out of them, but they have a lot of talent. Horicon-Hustisford will be good again, too. I think those are probably the top two teams. Dodgeland is always going to be good. Palmyra-Eagle is going to be improved. Most of their better skill guys are back. It's going to be a tough conference."
Due to the cancellation, the Vikings will play their opening game Aug. 24 at Belleville.