Wolverines looking to senior core for leadership
Four senior captains will spearhead the Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines this fall as they take a shot at improving on a 2-7 season. Thomas Brekke, Wyatt Fitzsimmons, Zach Schertler and Austin Sutherland are being counted on to lead the way on both s...
Four senior captains will spearhead the Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines this fall as they take a shot at improving on a 2-7 season.
Thomas Brekke, Wyatt Fitzsimmons, Zach Schertler and Austin Sutherland are being counted on to lead the way on both sides of the line. Brekke and Fitzsimmons will give the Wolverines two veteran wide receivers on offense while Schertler, who has good vertical speed and is a tough competitor, returns as quarterback and Sutherland moves into a running back spot.
Brekke led the Wolverines in interceptions last year and returns as a cornerback along with Sutherland. Schertler will further strengthen the WDC secondary by returning at safety. Fitzsimmons is being moved to an outside linebacker spot.
Senior Dylan Lound has the size to go both ways on the offensive line and classmate Drew Killian brings 270 pounds to WDC's line.
One major setback for the team is the absence of Josh Brink, a senior who saw action in the backfield on offense and played linebacker for WDC. Brink is recovering from knee surgery.
There are nine players from this year's junior class. Lee Spencer, who is presently out with a rib infection, is expected to give the Wolverines speed at running back and safety Dylan McManigle has shown a ton of improvement as a wideout and safety. Tyler Wheeler is a versatile talent who may see action on the offensive line and at linebacker. Carter Wright, who surprised a lot of people last winter by advancing to the Class A state wrestling tournament as a sophomore, is set as a fullback and a linebacker. The Wolverines want to use Cody Wegscheid at corner and on special teams. Sam Kelderman has good speed and will see playing time in the offensive backfield and at linebacker. Dacotah Mittag has good size and he is likely to play running back and defensive lineman. Adam Arneson, who has impressed Kangas with his steady play, looks like a starting linebacker for the Wolverines. He will also find a spot at guard on the offensive line.
One of the key contributors from the sophomore class is expected to be Jake Dykhoff. The strong-armed Dykhoff will see playing time at quarterback and will give the Wolverines another linebacker. Isaac Witthuhn is shaping up as a wide receiver and a cornerback. Preston Warren could move into a slot back spot and play a corner on defense. Henry Fitzsimmons got a lot of snaps as a freshman center. Fitzsimmons may also find himself playing on the defensive line. Lucas Doyle and Ryan Anderson should also find places for themselves on both sides of the line.
"I think the strength of our team is that overall we have pretty good team speed." WDC head coach Howard Kangas said.
The Wolverines will be playing in the Midwest Blue District this fall along Otter Tail Central, Frazee, Long Prairie-Grey Eagle, United North Central, Osakis and Staples-Motley.
Kangas plans to cut down on the schemes he asked his team to run last year and have them play at level where they are comfortable.
"We'll just have to be creative. If there is anything I have learned about coaching in Wadena is that you have to be creative," Kangas said.
The Wolverines are slated to play their first game of the season Saturday on the road against Prairie Valley. Game time is set for 7 p.m.