|Bronco football team ready for gridiron action|
|Written by Wauneta Breeze|
|Thursday, 01 September 2011 20:00|
Returning letterwinners from last year’s Wauneta-Palisade football season include, at front from left, Wes Anderjaska and Logan Bischoff. At back from left, Keagan Haarberg, Bo Fanning, Donald Hunt and Hayden Pollmann. The Broncs play host to Cheylin tonight (Thursday) in their season opener.
By Tina Kitt
The Wauneta Breeze
One game at a time. That’s the focus for Wauneta-Palisade’s new football coach Justin Bernhardt.
“With our new systems our game will change week by week depending on our opponent,” said Bernhardt, who comes to WP from Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Mont. Prior to that the Nebraska native was the head football coach at Wallace for two years.
Bernhardt is excited for his team to take to the field to see what they can do after several weeks of practice.
The Broncs will host the Cheylin Cougars tonight (Thursday) in Wauneta. Kickoff is slated for 6:30 p.m. MT/7:30 p.m. CT.
“This is a great bunch of boys — good kids willing to work hard and willing to put in the time needed to learn new schemes,” said Bernhardt.
One of the biggest obstacles for this year’s Bronco squad will be their short numbers — WP is fielding one of its smallest line-ups ever with just 16 players on the roster. Much of their success will depend on keeping all 16 players healthy and injury-free, noted Bernhardt.
“We have one of the smallest teams in numbers in the area by far, even among D2 schools,” observed Bernhardt. “That’s gonna be our Achilles heel.”
This year the Broncos are looking to improve on last year’s 1-7 record.
“We are definitely in a building process and have our work cut out for us as we learn new schemes and struggle with small numbers,” said Bernhardt. “Our goal is to be competitive every week and put ourselves in a position to win.”
Last year Cheylin shocked the Broncs with a stunning season-opening loss. Bernhardt is looking to avoid a repeat, but acknowledges that Cheylin remains a strong threat despite losing some key players to graduation.
WP also lost key players including Colby Skelton, Chris Bartels, Ricky Martin and Caige Hackney.
Bernhardt will be looking to several Bronco veterans as well as some fresh faces to secure some wins this season.
Connor Kayton, whose family recently returned to the area, will start at quarterback. Kayton, a junior, has good experience playing 11-man football at a much larger school, noted Bernhardt. “He’s a natural athlete with experience playing at a higher level of competition.” Berhardt is looking to WP senior Bo Fanning to anchor the defense at middle linebacker. He will also play slot receiver.
Reese West, a senior, will play tailback and cornerback. “We’re looking for Reese to open up our passing game by posing a threat on the run,” noted Bernhardt.
Keagan Haarberg, also a senior, will be crucial on the offensive line. “With our lack of size we’re looking to Keagan to anchor our line,” said Bernhardt.
Logan Bischoff, a junior, will play wide receiver and defensive end and Weylin Davis, also a junior, will be called on to play a number of positions.
“Weylin’s biggest asset has to be that even with his small size he has the determination and ability to play multiple positions and with our small numbers that’s a big deal,” added Bernhardt.
Assisting Bernhardt are Ted Shiers of Grant and Kenny Lawless. Jacob Maris is serving as a coaching aide.
This year’s squad includes;
Seniors: Keagan Haarberg, Bo Fanning, Reese West, William Werner and Kaleb Straub.
Juniors: Connor Kayton, Logan Bischoff, Weylin Davis, William DuBry, Donald Hunt, Dakota Washum and Cody Hicks.
Sophomores: Wes Anderjaska, Lorenzo Cavanaugh and Hayden Pollmann.
Freshmen: Tyler Knotts.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 01 September 2011 20:03|