With conference on the line and no Jones, senior Oesterle ready to lead

It seems like every Bangor football team since 2014 has inherently put pressure on themselves to keep the streak of conference titles going. But that streak of seven would end if they lose at Cashton Friday night.

That’s probably why Bangor’s Mathieu Oesterle described the energy at practice this week as a very serious vibe.

This year’s Bangor has two losses on the year, both one-score games to Spencer/Columbus Catholic and Luther. The common denominator in both those losses was the absence of top running back Tanner Jones. The junior partially tore his MCL in the first quarter of that Spencer game and didn’t know it until the next day.

Jones just found out Thursday he doesn’t need surgery, but won’t be able to come back until around Level 3 of the playoffs, assuming Bangor makes it to Level 3. So it’s up to senior Mathieu Oesterle and some young running backs to keep the Bangor train rolling Friday night.

“Our coach said that just because it says Bangor on your chest doesn’t mean that stuff is just going to be handed to us,” said Oesterle, who has 971 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns this season. “We learned that the hard way. As a senior I have to expect that workload’s going to be put on you. With Tanner going down, in my mind it’s just more responsibility for me to hang onto the ball, get extra yards, get my guys going, be a leader.”

“He’ll be ready,” Jones said of Oesterle. “He’ll have his head down and he’ll be ready, I know that for sure. As a senior, being his last non-playoff game, it’s definitely going to be one that he’s going to want to play his best at.”