The Wadena-Deer Creek football team kicked off a new era on Aug. 12 as Kyle Petermeier took over the reigns from retired head coach Howie Kangas.

Petermeier took over the helm, officially, on Aug. 12, but held a summer camp that brought in a lot of interested players to the program. He saw several new faces on opening day of practice as well at the Wadena-Deer Creek Practice Fields.

Petermeier said the team was working hard during the summer with the camp as well as in the weight room.

“I think they were building some good camaraderie and team chemistry in the weight room,” Petermeier said of the summer work. “We had a three day camp with 55 plus kids there and I think that went well. I think the kids got a lot of good knowledge about this upcoming year.”

Petermeier wants the team to work hard and preaches about being a good person. He said it’s not all about wins and losses.

“I think if you are always doing things correctly, appropriately and the right way, good things will happen,” Petermeier said. “We haven’t talked about wins and losses. We have talked about doing things the right way, being good people and treating each other right and good things can follow from being good people.”

Petermeier takes that mantra from his father, who is a long time coach in Browerville. He said it was something he had always thought about growing up and during his college football career at the University of Minnesota-Morris.

“I don’t think it will be tough for us, because we are going to talk about it every day,” Petermeier said. “The kids are going to get sick of hearing of it where they just want to be a good person and want to make good choices. If you are not being a good person, that takes our program down. We want our program to be respected in the sense that we are good people.”

Petermeier brings back an experienced staff, which should help in the transition to a new coach for the athletes. He will be joined on staff by Norm Gallant, Ed Sugg and Keith Ferris. Gallant will work with the special teams, while Ferris will be working with the defense. Petermeier will be calling the plays on offense, while Sugg brings experience across the board with experience in Montana, as well as Parkers Prairie.

The junior high team will be coached by Zach Martin as well as Howie Kangas. Petermeier said he is excited to have Kangas on the junior high staff. He said the kids love having him around and said the kids will learn a lot about the game from Kangas.

Petermeier said it’s great to have the experience they have on staff. Petermeier and Sugg coached junior high level together and work well together at that level as well.

“I think we are going to blend pretty well,” Petermeier said. “We have been meeting this summer, and I’m pretty excited for the season to begin and for us to work together.”