|New era of Bronco football kicks off at home Friday|
|Written by Wauneta Breeze|
|Thursday, 23 August 2012 17:36|
Returning Lettermen include: front row (l to r) seniors Cody Hicks, Jack McGraw, Donald Hunt and Connor Kayton. Back row (l to r) seniors Jacob Maris, Weylin Davis, Logan Bischoff, juniors Hayden Pollmann and Wes Anderjaska.
By Diane Stamm
The Wauneta Breeze
With the kickoff Friday versus Cody-Kilgore the Wauneta-Palisade football team will begin its first of at least two seasons playing six-man football.
The school has been playing eight-man since the merger in 1992.
Palisade played six-man in the 1940s and 50s. According to co-football coach/Superintendent Randy Geier Palisade tried eight-man then returned to six-man in the 1980s and stuck with it until the merger with Wauneta.
While neither Geier nor fellow coach Joseph Frecks have experience coaching six-man, Geier said, “We told the players last spring ‘football is football’ and our athletes seem very excited about playing six man.”
Both coaches have extensive football backgrounds.
Frecks played eight-man football at Hayes Center and coached at Sandhills-Thedford. He also played football at Hastings College.
Geier has 30 years of coaching experience, including 20 years at the eight-man level.
Geier said he and Frecks have both studied the six-man game very hard and the fundamentals of football are the same regardless of whether it is six-man, eight-man or 11- man.
The “co-coach” arrangement has worked out well for the pair. Both have similar philosophies.
“We both believe in molding student/athletes regarding the parallels of athletics and daily life. We are teaching the kids to handle adversity and success, basically life lessons on a football field,” said Geier.
Seventeen players have reported for the current team, including seven seniors and five freshmen.
Frecks and Geier will look for leadership from letterwinners Cody Hicks, Jack McGraw, Donald Hunt, Connor Kayton, Jacob Maris, Weylin Davis, Logan Bischoff, Hayden Pollmann and Wes Anderjaska.
Following last season Kayton was recognized as second team All District quarterback. Bischoff was honorable mention at his end position.
Geier said the leadership from the upperclassmen has been very strong and the team has been working hard.
The team should have plenty of time to bond during road trips to Minatare, Hyannis, Arthur County and Elba-North Loup-Scotia.
The focus will be on each opponent, one at a time, said Geier.
“I am not concerned about the travel, we travelled to Crawford in the past and went to Elgin during the 2007 play-offs. We will not make a big deal of the travel, it is part of our schedule and we can do nothing about it.”
The 2012 squad will be looking for the school’s first winning season since 2007. Since that 8-3 campaign the Broncos have been 6-27.
“Coach Frecks and I have stressed that our opponent is ourself,” said Geier. “We have stressed that if we prepare and play to the best of our ability, the outcome of each game will take care of itself. We have a chance to be a good football team. We are not dwelling on the negatives of the past at all, however we have pointed out some of the learning experiences from our 2006 state semi-final team and our 2007 state quarter-final team.”
Wauneta-Palisade’s enrollment of 42 is right in the middle of the 14 schools playing six-man.
Elba-North Loup-Scotia’s enrollement is 62 and Silver Lake’s is 61.
On the other end of the scale is Arthur County with an enrollment of 14.