Palmer High School set the bar high in 2013, making it all the way to the state tournament where they lost in the second round by just three points to the eventual state champs — West. This year, they return just three starters from that team, but head coach Rodney Christiansen is optimistic they can make it back to the playoffs.
“I think this team is very capable of being a very good team in the state and I think there’s some other very good teams in the state,” Christiansen said. “I think it’s going to be a climb for us and I think this team will be there in the end.”
All three returners — Ben Button, Nick Benshetler and the coach’s son Adam Christiansen — are offensive linemen. Coach Christiansen would not have it any other way.
“If you could only choose three returners, we’d take these three,” Rodney Christiansen said. “Linemen tend to have a good, hardworking attitude about getting out there and being good leaders.”
Christiansen and Benshetler were both all-state first teamers last season, while Button was a second team all-conference guard. As seniors, they are feeling more pressure to finish strong.
“I’m giving a lot more into the game and trying a lot harder to be a leader, I guess, knowing it could be my last season playing football,” Adam Christiansen said.
“Just makes me want to get the team to work harder and everybody be on the same page and try to go as far as we can,” Benshetler added.
Even though they will be anchoring an inexperienced offense, the three returners know the team’s success does not lie just on their shoulders.
“We just have to work as a team and make sure we’re all together and on the same page and if we all work as a team and we all play our role equally, we’ll go farther than we would if it was just one section or one guy carrying the team,” Benshetler said.