GAYVILLE — The Gayville-Volin football and volleyball teams had almost the same type of seasons.
Both teams dealt with a small amount of senior leadership, and both teams finished below .500.
However, each team has a strong core of underclassmen to look forward to for the next year or so.
Gayville-Volin finished the football season with a 2-6 record, which fell below the expectations to begin the year, head coach Bruce Anderson said.
"I thought we had a pretty good chance to go 4-4, if not 5-3," he said. "We got a couple of injuries that hurt, and we lost a couple of close games that took the wind out of our sails."
"Pretty soon, you turn around and you are 2-6," he added.
The good news is most of the team will return next year since there were only four seniors — Tyler Kasuske, Ron Wells, Kaleb Christopherson and Jace Bennett.
But one of the problems will be replacing Kasuske, who was the team's leading rusher.
"Every year you have a kid that you wish could come back and that's him," Anderson said. "We are going to miss him and the way he played. He was the only senior we had in the backfield, so we have good players coming back too."
Now that the season is over, Anderson expects the returning players to start getting ready for next year.
"I expect them to get in the weight room, and this is probably the first group that has dedicated themselves to the weight room," he said. "You don't just put the football away and pick it up again in August. If you don't keep up, you get left behind."
Even though much of the roster will look the same next year, Anderson won't be putting any expectations on the team until he sees how they shape when practice begins.
"We need a couple kids to come out next year against that didn't this year, and as far as our young kids go, we should have a good senior class next year," he said. "It depends how our kids take over from where they left off this year."
The Gayville-Volin volleyball team also dealt with a young team, which also brought its own ups and downs.
The team finished with a 9-15 record, but it started the year by losing 12 of its first 13 games.
After head coach Natalie Selchert made some adjustments, the team started to find its winning ways.
The Raiders ended up winning seven in a row to put itself in place to make some noise in the district.
"We made a couple dramatic changes," Selchert said. "We looked at how things were going and not panning out, so I figured to try something different, and it helped out quite a bit."
One of the changes she made moving the team's setter to middle hitter, a position the setter had never played. But the move worked.
The team did stumble at the end, losing three of its last four at the end of year and end the season ended with a lost in districts.
"The team was really disappointed with their district finish," Selchert said. "There were a lot of nerves, especially the younger players."
Even though the inexperience of the younger players proved to be a difficult hurdle this year, it's something Selchert is looking forward to next year since the team will have a year under its belt.
"You could see the experience and confidence building as the year went on," she said. "We had anywhere from eighth grade and up playing."
The team will lose Taylor Anderson, the lone senior on the roster.
"She was a strong outside hitter, and we will miss her enthusiasm," Selchert said. "She is that leader as far as getting the spirits up and taking the initiative."
Now the team will have to start working hard in the off-season to get ready for next year, Selchert said.
"I think they realized some things as we talked to them about the importance of the off-season," she said. "They mesh pretty well, and if they work hard in the off-season, it will give them a positive outlook for next year."