Diane Stamm | Johnson Publications
Austen Rozelle (7) and Caid Doetker (28) were two of the leaders of the Wauneta-Palisade defense during the 2017 season.
Broncos reach playoffs for third straight year, finish 5-4
After a rough start to the Wauneta-Palisade football season, the team rattled off four straight wins to reach the Class D2 playoffs for the second year in a row.
The beginning of the 2017 season differed from the typical start of a season.
“This was an odd season with our schedule especially early in the year when we had five weeks of practice before a the opportunity to play a game,” WP Co-Head Coaches Joseph Frecks and Randy Geier said. “We felt that the team did a great job of staying positive and continued to work as hard as they could to get better each and every day.”
WP’s schedule was definitely front loaded. After a forfeit by Leyton, the Broncos opened the season against Garden County (7-2). What was WP’s first actual game was Garden County’s third. The Broncos lost the game and moved on to a tougher opponent, Mullen.
Mullen, still undefeated and alive in the playoffs, beat WP. The Broncos losing streak continued the next week with a loss at Arapahoe (7-2).
Geier and Frecks said, “We felt like we got better each and every week, the tough early season schedule really helped us find our weaknesses and allowed us to work to correct them so we could finish the season at our best.”
With its toughest games behind it, the wins started rolling in for the Broncos.
WP beat Wallace 55-34 on Sept. 28, but lost leading rusher junior Dalton Harchelroad for the season.
The next week, WP crushed Eustis-Farnam. Sophomore Ty Duvel was named MaxPreps/USA Football Player of the Week for the Midwest region (Arkansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Kansas, North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa) for his performance in the game. Duvel gained 200 yards and scored six touchdowns on 11 carries.
Duvel thanked his linemen for blocking hard every play, and the defense for the quick four and outs. Duvel also credited his coaches for pushing him to become better.