DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) -- Year Four of the Dan Gritti Era begins on Friday with Millikin's season opener against Hope College.

The Big Blue looks to improve on last year's 6-4 record, its second straight winning season.

When the team kicks off at 6 p.m. they'll have plenty of local players on the field and sideline.

In this WAND Sports spotlight, Gordon Voit mentions a handful of the local connections, plus head coach Dan Gritti shares his thoughts on Monticello QB Braden Snyder (fighting for backup job) and All-America candidate WR Jordan Smith of Shelbyville.

Players from the 217 area code

WR Jordan Smith (Shelbyville)

QB Matt Skeffington (Eisenhower)

WR Colton Lockwood (Eisenhower)

DB Brylon Young (MacArthur)

K Lucas McCoskey

WR Nik Velchek (St. Teresa)

RB LaDavian Severado (Westville)

OL Brandt Williamson

DL Jordan Williams (Champaign Central)

LB Matt Brown (Champaign Central)

QB Braden Snyder (Monticello)

LB AJ Fox (Urbana)

K Caleb Bleich (GCMS)

OL Jason Bowlin (Effingham)

WR Jack Armstrong (Pana)