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Wolverines want to put speed in play

Wadena-Deer Creek's Joe Wallgren handles the pigskin behind his blocking wall during a team practice session.

The Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines will not be overcoming their competition with size or depth this season, but speed could be something else.

"We're trying to get whatever speed we have and put it in play," WDC head coach Howie Kangas said.

The Wolverines will have a new quarterback in Nick Carlson, a 5-11, 170-pound senior, who played a wideout spot last year.

The only returning starter in his backfield will be fullback Blaine Cooper, a 5-10, 185-pound junior. Cooper's running mates will be 5-6, 165-pound sophomore Dylan Phillips and 5-11, 165-pound sophomore Zach Schertler.

The Wolverines have a returning starter at end in 6-2, 180-pound senior Dylan Dumpprope. Kangas also wants to use 5-11, 165-pound sophomore Thomas Brekke as a receiver.

Ricky Price and Isaac Malone are back to man the offensive line. Price is a 6-0, 245-pound senior who will play a guard spot. Malone is a 5-9, 175-pound junior who is set at tackle.

Kangas wants to use 6-1, 190-pound senior Eric Ness at tackle, 6-1, 200-pound junior Sutton Lohmiller at guard and 5-10, 165-pound senior Wyatt Weber at center.

The Wolverines will employ multiple packages on offense according to Kangas. With new starters peppering the lineup the key to moving the ball will be having everyone on the same page.

"We have to be very effective in running the base play in whatever option we're in," Kangas said. "What we're trying to do offensively is just get four yards downfield on every play."

Dirk Schulz will be running the defense for the Wolverines this season. Schulz has returning starters back at defensive end (Dumpprope), defensive tackle (Price), inside linebacker (Weber) and cornerback (Carlson). Malone is also a returning starter but the Schulz has moved him from linebacker to defensive tackle.

Lohmiller is slated for a defensive end spot. Cooper will joined Weber as an inside linebacker. Phillips and 6-0, 170-pound junior Blake Mikkola will play outside linebacking spots. The Wolverines will be Schertler adding his speed to the secondary at a corner spot. Josh Brink, a 6-0, 175-pound sophomore, is regarded as the team's starting safety.

Kangas tabs Otter Tail Central, Osakis and Upsala-Swanville as three of the Prairie North's top contenders.