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2013 Football Guide

2013 Football Guide

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2013 Football Guide
2013 Football Guide

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Published by: veronapress on Aug 28, 2013
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Inside the Guide

Team Previews
4 Stoughton Vikings: New coach, new era. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Oregon Panthers: Looking to improve . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Verona Wildcats: All new defense poses challenges. . . . .

Conference Previews

6 Badger South: Title goes through Monona Grove. . . . . . . 12
Big Eight: Sun Prairie is miles ahead of the pack . . . . . . . .


special supplement

2 – Football Guide – August 29, 2013

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Football Guide – August 29, 2013 – 3

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4 – Football Guide – August 29, 2013


Experience on offense, new defense
Verona return several offensive starters but no one on defense
Anthony Iozzo
Assistant sports editor

If you go
What: Verona home opener vs. Janesville Craig When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6 Where: Verona Area High School Senior running back Colin Daniels also returns to the Wildcats from last season. Senior quarterback John Tackett is also back to move the offense both through the air and with his feet. Tackett picked up 128 yards on 20 carries last year and collected eight rushing touchdowns. Through the air, he was 69-for-137 with 860 yards, eight touchdowns and three interceptions. Junior quarterback Noah Roberts is back as a backup to Tackett. Senior split end Mitch Flora is the key returner on the receiving core, but expect Schmid and Murray to also be involved in the passing offense. Flora had six receptions for 87 yards. Senior Taylor Watzke returns at tight end with senior Travis Ballweg and junior Colin Griffin. They look to make up for Verona‘s losses of Sam Sharer – who had 18 catches for 345 yards and three

Despite losing Dom Wise to graduation this season, the Verona Area High School varsity football team still has plenty of rushing offense in 2013. Senior running back Travis Murray and junior running back Eric Schmid both return after having several touches last season. Wise (21 touchdowns) led all rushers with 1,386 yards on 190 carries last season, and it will be up to Murray and Schmid to make up for that production. Murray rushed for 254 yards on 30 carries and had four touchdowns in 2012, while Schmid had 243 yards on 34 carries with three touchdowns. Also jumping into the mix at running back with be senior Alan Brown and junior Cameron Tindall. “We have Alan Brown and Cameron Tindall who are two of our best pass catchers and two of our fastest kids,” head coach Dave Richardson said. “We know we have two really good ones in Travis and Eric, and these other two might surprise some folks.”

Turn to Wildcats/Page 5

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Junior defensive back Josh Beckham participates in a rushing the passer exercise as Travis Ballweg and Hilmi Saqr await their turn.

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Photo by Anthony Iozzo

The Verona defensive line practices a drill to push through the line of scrimmage.

Football Guide – August 29, 2013 – 5

Photo by Anthony Iozzo

The returning varsity letterwinners for the Verona Area High School football team (front, from left) are: Adam Stiner, Dakin Coons, Taylor Watzke and Grant Furniss (middle) Alan Brown, Colin Griffin, Nick Hanson, Noah Roberts, John Tackett, Scott Rohlfing, Eric Schmid and Travis Murray; (back) Zach Nechvatal, Trevor Nierman, Zach Boebel, Mike Dahlman, Jorge Fernandez, Logan Postweiler, Brandon Keene, Travis Ballweg, Grant Langer, Mitch Flora and Kenny Keyes.

Wildcats: Sun Prairie battle up next in week 2
Continued from page 4 touchdowns – Wes Taylor, Trevor Kermicle and Brian Feiler. “Griffin is another 6 feet, 4 inches basketball player that runs nice routes and goes after the ball,” Richardson said. “Our offense should be pretty solid this year.” The offensive line has a bit of turnover with the losses of first teamer Andrew Terwilliger and second teamer Kyle Reichert. Mike Krantz, Jarod Von Behren, Joe Pagura, Tanner Breisch, Brandon Skinner, Mike Klug and Mike Freitag also graduated leaving seniors Scott Rohlfing,and Adam Stiner, a captain, left to anchor the O-line. Seniors Jack Childers, Grant Langer, Jorge Fernandez and Trevor Nierman also return with offensive line experience. “Our juniors play a lot of football because they are playing four quarters on Saturday, and more often than not, are playing two quarters on Friday,” Richardson said. “That is more football than anyone else in our program, so our juniors will generally show up and know what to do the following year.” The big losses come on the defensive line and at the linebacker core. Verona has to replace Jassam Saqr, Nick Fish, Tyler Bloomfield, Matt Renk and Jakurr Thomas on the D-Line. Thomas was a first-team all-conference selection, while Saqr was a second teamer. Fish was an honorable mention. Senior Logan Postweiler returns with some experience and will be a captain. He is joined by Brandon Keene. The linebacker core of Bilal Louzati (first-team all-conference) and Lucas Kirch (second-team allconference) both graduated along with David Drews, Ryan Christoffersen, Mitch Rymarowicz and Eric Matyas. Junior Dakin Coons returns with some experience, however, and is expected to lead the group, which returns Zach Boebel as well. “We have a good mix of kids,” Richardson said. “They surprised me a little bit at the scrimmage with their aggressiveness, their tackling and their abilities, so let’s hope they continue to surprise me.” The defensive backs were one area Verona was inexperienced in heading into 2012, but Jordan KingKylan Reilly, Eric Koberle and Zach Jones all stepped up. King was a first-team allconference selection with Jones and Koberle earning honorable mentions. But with all graduating, Verona once again needs players to fill those roles. For the first time during Richardson’s time at Verona, one of those spots will be filled by an offensive player. Flora is expected to double as a split end and a defensive back, and Richardson said he expects big things out of Flora.

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Turn to Verona/Page 15

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6 – Football Guide – August 29, 2013

Big 8 Conference

State runner-up Sun Prairie is once again the favorite
Anthony Iozzo
Assistant sports editor

Big games in the Big 8

Verona’s only two losses during last season’s 9-2 campaign that ended in the Level 3 playoffs were against Big Eight Conference champion and eventual state runner-up Sun Prairie. The challenge of being one of the better teams in the conference and sectional will once again lie with how the Wildcats fare against Sun Prairie, which happens right away in week 2. “This year, everyone is playing for second place,” Verona head coach Dave Richardson said. “Sun Prairie is just far and away, on paper, the best team in the conference. You hope you can catch them on a bad night, or you hope you can catch them when they make some mistakes and during the game in the fourth quarter and sneak one by them.” The Wildcats travel to Sun Prairie in a game that might decide the conference, but with any year, no games for either team will be easy.

Sun Prairie, Middleton and Verona are once again expected to compete for the top three spots in the conference this season, but Madison West and Madison Memorial also look to compete. Here are the list of games to watch in the Big 8 this season.

Week 2
Verona at Sun Prairie Madison La Follette at Madison East

Week 4
Madison Memorial at Madison West

Week 5
Madison Memorial at Verona Middleton at Madison West

Week 6
Verona at Middleton Madison Memorial at Sun Prairie

Sun Prairie (8-0, 12-1 overall)
Photo by Anthony Iozzo

Sun Prairie senior quarterback Ryan Curran returns to lead the offense this season. He completed 133 passes in 208 attempts for 1,655 yards, 18 touchdowns and eight interceptions in 2012. He also rushed for 54 yards and three touchdowns on five carries.

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The Cardinals had everything except a state championship last season. They steamrolled the Big Eight with an undefeated mark, and they stayed undefeated all the way to the title game, losing 35-14 to Hartland Arrowhead. But with players like senior quarterback Ryan Curran, senior wide receivers Michael Marchese and Tripp Soma and senior offensive/defensive lineman Craig Evans all back, Sun Prairie is primed for another run at a conference championship and a state title. Curran finished 2012 133-for-208 with 1,655 yards, 18 touchdowns and eight interceptions. His main target was Marchese, who caught 50 passes for 555 yards and three touchdowns. Soma is also back after catching 15 passes for 198 yards. The Cardinals lose running back Donte Starlin-Merriam who rushed for 1,534 yards on 254 carries, while scoring 16 touchdowns. Wide Receiver Drew Mikalosky also graduated. He was second on the team with 32 catches for 331 yards. Evans, a Wisconsin Badger recruit, is 6 feet, 4 inches and over 300 pounds. He is not only a force on the defensive line – collecting 72 total tackles in 2012, including three sacks and three forced fumbles – but is also a weapon on offense with his size. Evans picked up first downs and short runs to the end zone in 2012. He finished with 15 carries for 29 yards and six touchdowns. Besides Verona, Sun Prairie’s other big games are Sept. 27 at Madison Memorial and Oct. 4 against Middleton. Verona head coach Dave Richardson pegged the Cardinals as the favorite in the Big Eight, but Sun Prairie head coach Brian Kaminski is a little bit more cautious. “We would like to build upon what was accomplished last year,” Kaminski said. “We know the conference will be tough from top to bottom and we must work hard in order to contend for the Big Eight title.”

Week 7
Middleton at Sun Prairie

Week 9
Madison West at Verona Janesville Craig at Janesville Parker Sun Prairie defeated Madison West 14-12 in week 1.

Verona (7-1, 9-2)

The Wildcats lost the first and last games of the season to Sun Prairie, but it rattled off nine wins in a row, including an upset over Sussex-Hamilton in the Level 2 playoffs. The Wildcats return the core of their offense, but it loses all the starters on defense from 2012. Most coaches in the conference still believe Verona is a contender with Sun Prairie, with the majority picking the Wildcats to finish second. Besides Sun Prairie, Verona’s big games are Sept. 20 against Madison Memorial, Sept. 27 at Middleton and Oct. 18 against Madison West. Verona crushed Beloit Memorial 49-6 in week 1.

Madison West (6-2, 7-3)

Madison West had two losses to Sun Prairie and one to Verona in 2012, but it surprised a lot of people by competing for a conference title. The Regents’ season came to a close in the Level 2 playoffs against Sun Prairie. They return six defensive starters and five offensive starters from 2012, which should mean that the Regents will once again compete for the top three spots in the Big Eight. West does have to replace one of its

Turn to Big 8/Page 7

Big 8: Verona’s only losses
Continued from page 6 biggest weapons on offense, however, in quarterback Alex Brown. Brown was a first-team all-conference selection, and he finished the season 90-for-177 for 1,574 yards, 21 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He also rushed for 314 yards on 69 carries and had three touchdowns on the ground. West also loses running back John Carr to graduation. He was second on the team with 281 yards on 48 carries with two touchdowns. Back on offense is running back Marquise Pollard. Pollard had 110 yards on 15 carries and collected two touchdowns. Also back are the top three wide receivers from 2012. Seniors Terrel McFadden, Christian Graf and Aubrey Johnson return with a combined 57 catches, 1,166 yards and 18 touchdowns. On defense, West will have to make up for the loss

Football Guide – August 29, 2013 – 7

in 2012 were to Sun Prairie
of first-team all-conference defensive lineman Brandon Doepke, who had 83 tackles and 11 sacks, but the Regents do return first-team linebacker Antonio Hoye. Madison West played Sun Prairie in week 1, and it hosts Madison Memorial and Middleton on Sept. 12 and Sept. 20, respectively. West travels to Verona on Oct. 18 to finish the season.

Middleton (5-3, 5-4)

Photo by Anthony Iozzo

Sun Prairie senior offensive and defensive lineman Craig Evans returns to anchor the defense and provide a weapon on short run plays near first downs or the end zone. Evans is a Wisconsin recruit.

Photo by Anthony Iozzo

The Verona Area High School varsity football team gets fired up during practice.

Middleton started 2012 5-0 before dropping three straight and four of its final five games, which included losses to Verona and Sun Prairie. Senior quarterback Luke Shafer and senior wide receivers Derek Rongstad and Demond Hill return on offense, while the defense needs to absorb the losses of first-team all-conference players – defensive lineman Reese Felton and linebacker Emmett Turley. Shafer completed 69 of 127 passing attempts for 801 yards, four touchdowns and nine interceptions in 2012, and he gets his two main targets back. Rongstad returns after catching 14 passes for 190 yards and two touchdowns last season, while Hill collected 79 yards on two touchdown catches. The big loss for the offense comes at the running back position. Jevarious Rockmore ran for 951 yards on 120 carries last year. He also scored 12 touchdowns. The Cardinals will need to replace his offense. The big games for Middleton happen in a three

Turn to Big 8/Page 14

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8 – Football Guide – August 29, 2013


New coach brings new expectations
Vikings look to make WIAA playoffs for the first time since 1998
Jeremy Jones
Sports editor

Streaks are part of the proverbial sports verbiage. Be it winning streaks, losing streaks or in the case of the Stoughton football team, a playoff drought, such records are an easy way to quantify players and teams success. Though the Vikings have hovered right around the .500 mark needed to reach the postseason, Stoughton has not reached the playoffs since 1998. Despite finishing 3-6 overall (2-4 Badger South) last year and losing just about the entire coaching staff following the resignation of Sean Stokes, the outlook remains high for the Vikings and new head coach Jason Thiry this season. Thiry, who comes to Stoughton from Morton, Ill., knows that

Photo by Jeremy Jones

Turn to Vikings/Page 9 Braden Poirer and Kyle Patton; (back) Jace Carlson, Luke Logan, Jayce Yellowbird, Will Ziechert, Cole Spangler, PJ Rosowski, Ben Brandt and Jesse Adams.

Returning letterwinners for the Stoughton High School football team (front, from left) are: Brian Wagner, Austin Benton, Chris Lund, Zach Hasselberger, Joe Pulley,

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Continued from page 8 there will be a learning curve, especially on offense, as he brings a new system to both sides of the ball. “First and foremost, I think we got some really quality coaches into our program,” he said. “The players have been very responsive of everything we’ve asked them to do at this point.” A running back last year, senior Luke Logan moves under center as the Vikings’ starting quarterback in place of all-conference honorable mention Tony Volk. “Luke has done a great job taking in the new system,” said Thiry, who will also be the team’s offensive coordinator. “Maybe it was an advantage, having him be a senior, who didn’t play a whole lot of quarterback in the past. It didn’t seem to be that big a deal for him to learn something new.” Thiry continued by saying Logan has been very receptive to the new staff and has been the “heart and soul of the offense.” “He’s got great leadership skills and is an even better person away from the field. That’s the kind of guys you want leading your offense.” Seniors PJ Rosowski, Cole Spangler and Brian Wagner will join Logan as team captains this year. Juniors Zach Hasselberger and Brady Brusegar expect to split time at tailback while Buck Krueger, John McCune and Wagner will be opening holes at fullback. “We have some weapons there who we think can all do a little bit different things,” Thiry said. “My job as the offensive coordinator is to try and get everyone in the right place to be successful.” Spangler leads a talented, though inexperienced group of receivers and tight ends. Though known mostly as one of the top kickers in the conference up to this point, Rosowski has stepped up at wide receiver as well Will Ziegler, Robbie Volk and Chris Lund have also taken the forefront as the Vikings’ top receivers. “We feel like we have a little bit of depth where we can get some guys breaks on Friday nights,” Thiry said. “We’ve got some nice sized tight ends to help us block and some skilled receiver types we’ll use as well.” Thiry called Rosowski the best kicker he’s seen in his 12 years of coaching at the

Football Guide – August 29, 2013 – 9

high school level. “He works at his trade very hard and it shows,” Thiry said. “Hopefully, this year he’ll have a breakout season and be able to showoff his leg a little bit.” An all-conference selection a year ago, Rosowski connected on 3-of-3 field goals, including a long of 33 yards. He also hit 17-of-19 extra points. “The kicking game is a real important part of the game and we take it very serious,” Thiry said. “It’s a third of the game. PJ is a great asset to us. Hopefully, he can gain us some good field position and we can work off him.” Stoughton won’t go anywhere without solid play in the trenches where Thiry said senior lineman Jesse Adams (T/DT) will be the key on both sides of the ball. The Vikings’ offensive line also features honorable mention all-conference guard Andrew Zacharias, sophomore Michael Gerber (T/DE), center Kyle Patton, Joe Hohol, Dylan Wenleta, Joe Pulley and Austin Benton at guard. “We try to get eight or nine lineman that really know what they are doing,” Thiry said. “It’s been a great competition up to this point.” Adams, Gerber, Pulley and Hohol will all contribute on defense, while sophomore Jeremiah Jimenez and junior Ben Brandt have been showing potential. “The key to a good defense is keeping the Photo by Joe Koshollek defensive line fresh, and not only that, to Stoughton head coach Jason Thiry takes over a Vikings team that hasn’t made the postseason since have quality players out there on the field,” 1998. Senior Luke Logan (12) was named the team’s starting quarterback. Thiry said. Wagner leads the linebacking corps, along with Zacharias and Braden Poirier, Jayce Yellowbird and Gunnar Helland. Perhaps the Vikings’ biggest strength will be the secondary where Lund (44 assisted tackles, eight unassisted and two interceptions) garnered honorable mention honors on defense. Spangler has also seen extensive time in the secondary on Friday nights. Both Lund and Spangler will see time at corner and safety, while Will Sickert, Hasselberger, McCune, Rosowski and Volk help Stoughton go two deep at each position. “We’re trying to get two deep everywhere,” Thiry said. “That’s been our biggest goal in the offseason and here in training camp. If one guy goes down, the next

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10 – Football Guide – August 29, 2013


Panthers look to stop losing streak
After going 0-15 the past two seasons, Kissling looks for a turnaround in 2013
Jeremy Jones
Sports editor

Photo by Jeremy Jones

Junior Josh Sromovsky (1) celebrates one of his two first quarter touchdowns against the Thunderbirds Friday in week 1. He is a returning second-team all-conference player.

Wins haven’t been easy to come by for Dan Kissling and the Oregon football team the past three seasons, going 4-22 over that span. A lot of the program’s struggles have come because of dwindling senior classes. Last year’s seniors class for example started out as part of a group of 32 freshmen. “Of that group as freshman, we only had nine seniors at the end of last year,” Kissling said. “You can’t win a lot of games with only nine seniors and only three who started.” “Somehow we’ve got to try to keep our numbers up. If we have 40 kids as freshman and get half of those guys out as seniors, we’re going to be pretty successful. But if we keep on losing kids, it’s going to hurt us.” This year Kissling and the Panthers, despite being thin, expect to be better due to more talent at the skilled positions. The Panthers will once again be young with only 11 seniors, including just five

who saw significant playing time on either side of the ball last year. Playing many juniors and sophomores once again will make things extra difficult for Oregon. “Our depth will also be in question, but we are having a solid camp and our team’s attitude is changing for the better,” Kissling said. On the brightside, the Panthers return Jack Krueger under center. Krueger started all eight games last season for Oregon, completing 44 of 116 passes for 659 yards and five touchdowns. “It’s hard at the varsity level when you have a new quarterback with all the different coverage’s a team will give you,” Kissling said. “Jack having a year of experience, knowing what to expect of other teams, it’s just huge. It’s one less thing, especially at that position, that you have to worry about.” Though young and inexperienced, the Panthers should be upgraded at the skilled positions. The most intriguing of the skilled position players for Oregon is junior Josh Sromovsky, who was a second team all-conference receiver as a sophomore. Sromovsky hauled in 18 balls for 373 yards and five touchdowns a year ago. He

Turn to Panthers/Page 11

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Football Guide – August 29, 2013 – 11

Jack Krueger attempts a pass during practice this year. Krueger is the returning quarterback for the Panthers. He was 44-for-116 for 659 yards and five touchdowns.

Photos by Jeremy Jones

Returning letterwinners for the Oregon High School football team (front, from left) are: Dan Gorman, Luke Knipfer, JJ Rogers, Jawon Turner, Matt Sampson and BJ Buckner; (back) John Best, Jack Maerz, Nick Bieno, Joey Milz, Josh Sromovsky, Andrew Niehuis, Christian Alcala, Jack Krueger and Alex Duff.

Panthers: 15 returners look to lead Oregon up the standings in 2013
Continued from page 10 also ran the ball three times for 128 yards and two scores. “It’s huge having Josh out there,” Kissling said. “He’s a big play maker and we’ll move him all over the field.” Called up late last season, BJ Buckner and Luke Knipfer will split carries in the backfield. Opening running lanes will be fullbacks Matt Sampson, the team’s leading rusher a year ago (659 yards) and Christian Alcala. Cleared last week after blowing out his ACL last season at Stoughton, senior Alex Neal will be moving from fullback to a new position of inside linebacker full-time this season. “All of the skill guys, from (receiver) Jawan Turner to Josh, all summer long they’ve been going to passing leagues every Friday and going down to UWWhitewater,” Kissling said. “They’re doing quite well.” The Panthers also have some size up front in 250-pound senior tackle John Best, who may move inside this season and 250-pound senior Nick Beino, who won’t be ready for the opener after missing last season with an injury. “With Nick we have a pretty solid line,” Kissling said. “Now with two guys going down we’re already kind of looking for other people. We have to be smart in practice and really do our best to keep everyone healthy. Seniors Andrew Nyenhuis and tight end Jack Maerz (230 pounds) could also help out on the line. “We have some size and experience coming back, we just lack depth,” Kissling said. “We have Jack playing not only tight end, but tackle and guard as well.” Oregon will once again field a lot of two-way players in Maerz, Alcala and junior Luke Mueller battling for playing time at defensive end. Already thin on both sides of the ball, Nyenhuis will see time at tackle and end. Sam Kloeppin is going to get significant playing time on the inside, along with fellow sophomore Jake Odegard. Besides Neal, junior Zach Klementz, Sampson, Seth Syphard and Jared Milz round out a linebacking corps lacking depth. Milz played both inside and outside a year ago and figures to do the same again this season. The Panthers look to be pretty athletic in the secondary, returning Turner, Knipfer and Sromovsky, who all saw time last year. Juniors Peter Kissling and John Hermus round out the team’s deepest position. It seems like a broken record, but Kissling said Monona Grove should once again be the conference favorite. The Silver Eagles have won the last four titles, going undefeated in the Badger South over that stretch. Though struggling early on in the conference, Fort Atkinson moved up to second place last season, losing only to MG. The Blackhawks are hoping to contend for the title again this year. Madison Edgewood and Stoughton, under new head coach Jason Thiry, could also be in the mix

Junior running BJ Buckner (5) scored two rushing touchdowns in Oregon’s first game against Baraboo. Buckner is one of the upgraded skill-position players on this year’s team.

atop the conference. “Several years ago, there were about three or four teams that you could count on for a ‘W’ every year,” Kissling said. “This year, it looks to be pretty solid from top to bottom. You’re going to have to be ready for every team.”

Oregon kicked off the 2013 season Friday at home against Baraboo. The Panthers continue their Badger Conference crossover schedule Aug. 30 at Mount Horeb/Barneveld, which kicks off a brutal stretch of playoff teams Sept. 6 at Monona and Sept. 13 at

home against perennial Division 2 power Waunakee. October 11 could be another interesting game when the Panthers travel to rival Stoughton as former Vikings head coach Sean Stokes is now Oregon’s defensive coordinator.

12 – Football Guide – August 29, 2013

Badger South

Monona Grove looks to be at the top again in 2013
Jeremy Jones
Sports editor

Badger South showdowns

Monona Grove, Fort Atkinson, Monroe, Stoughton and Madison Edgewood look to compete for the top three spots in the Badger South Conference this season, but MG and Fort have a leg up on the competition. Here are the top games in the conferMonona Grove (6-0, 9-2) ence this season – including the top Monona Grove claimed a fourth straight Badger North crossovers. Badger South title with yet another undefeated season a year ago and looks primed to be Week 2 just as good this season. The Silver Eagles advanced to the WIAA Madison Edgewood at DeForest Division 2 Level 3 game before going falling Monroe at Waunakee to Mount Horeb/Barneveld. Fort Atkinson finished second, while Madison Edgewood Week 4 and Monroe followed with playoff berths. Madison Edgewood at Stoughton Despite MH/B, Edgewood and Monroe reaching the playoffs – none were able to get out of the first round. Week 5 Monona Grove will once again be rushing Monona Grove at Madison Edgewood behind the best offensive lines in the conferStoughton at Monroe ence. As a result, they retain the top spot in the pre-season poll, despite some significant Waunakee at Oregon challenges ahead. Photo by Josh Smith/Daily Jefferson County Union Senior Jaden Gault offensive lineman Week 6 Senior wide receiver James Nachtigal (16), who was a first-team all-conference receiver in 2012, hopes Monona Grove Gault is the top-rated player Fort Atkinson at Monona Grove to lead the Blackhawks to a Badger South Conference title this year after finishing second to Monona in the state by Wisconsin Sports Network Grove last season. Madison Memorial at Sun Prairie and has given a commitment to Wisconsin. The Silver Eagles return another First Team All-Conference offensive lineman in senior Week 7 Jalen Thomas. Monona Grove at Stoughton Who lines up behind them remains up in Monroe at Madison Edgewood the air. Gone from last year are explosive running backs Evan Oldenburg and James Conner, WEEK 8 the league Player of the Year, have graduOregon at Stoughton ated, along with First Team All-Conference quarterback Brett Percy. sponsored by Culver’s of Verona Silver Eagles senior running back/line- Week 9 Madison Edgewood at Fort Atkinson backer Brock Offerdahl carried the ball 42 Sept. 8 at San Francisco 49ers 3:25 p.m. Nov. 10 Philadelphia Eagles 12 p.m. times for nearly 400 yards and six touchSept. 15 Washington Redskins 12 p.m. Nov. 17 at New York Giants *7:30 p.m. downs. Offerdahl was also an honorable mention All-Conference honoree at line- receiver James Nachtigal is an outstanding Sept. 22 at Cincinnati Bengals 12 p.m. Nov. 24 Minnesota Vikings *12 p.m. all-around athlete and is garnering D1 interbacker. Sept. 29 Open Date Nov. 28 at Detroit Lions 11:30 a.m. Seven MG defensive players that grabbed est. Nachtigal has impressive size and athfirst or second team All-Conference recog- leticism, soliciting offers from Army and Oct. 6 Detroit Lions 12 p.m. Dec. 8 Atlanta Falcons *7:30 p.m. nition have graduated. A trio of honorable interest from Northern Illinois, Wisconsin, mention picks are back however in junior Michigan, Michigan State and North Dakota Oct. 13 at Baltimore Ravens 12 p.m. Dec. 15 at Dallas Cowboys *3:25 p.m. defensive lineman Casey Donahue and line- State. He hauled in 47 passes for 675 yards. Oct. 20 Cleveland Browns 3:25 p.m. Dec. 22 Pittsburgh Steelers *3:25 p.m. Fort Atkinson rode the legs of First-Team backers Offerdahl and Brock Lippiatt. Head All-Conference running back Tyler Courtier coach Mike Stassi’s group will get stiff chalOct. 27 at Minnesota Vikings 7:30 p.m. Dec. 29 at Chicago Bears *12 p.m. lenges from Madison Edgewood and Fort all the way to a 6-1 record. Courtier, now a senior, rushed for nearly 800 yards and 11 *Start time and broadcast may shift due to NFL flexible scheduling Atkinson but figure to be ready for the test. Nov. 4 Chicago Bears 7:40 p.m. touchdowns. Fort Atkinson (5-1, 6-3) The Blackhawks hope a Week 9 home Fort Atkinson struggled through its first game against Madison Edgewood will be for three years in the Badger South before set- a conference championship. tling in as a top-tier team within the ranks over the past two seasons. After posting a 4-2 Madison Edgewood (4-2, 5-4) Madison Edgewood will push Monona mark in 2011, the Blackhawks improved up Grove this year behind the return of a considto 5-1 within the conference last season. With 11 returning starters and 22 letter- erable amount of offensive skill talent from winners, head coach Steve Mahoney and last year. The Crusaders have some holes to company are ready to compete for a league fill up front, but the team welcomes back a First Team All-Conference running back title once again in 2013. Three starters are back on the offensive plus an honorable mention quarterback. Madison Edgewood was paced by its line plus h-back Tyler Zaspel. A pair of First Team All-Conference skill positions players are the headliners, however. Senior wide Turn to Badger South/Page 13 Monona Grove is going for a fifth straight conference championship this season, but Fort Atkinson, which had its only 2012 conference loss come at the hands of MG, looks to push them for the top spot this season. Every team except Monroe won its first game of the season.

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Football Guide – August 29, 2013 – 13

Badger South: Fort Atkinson looks to
surprise after a second-place finish in 2012
Continued from page 12 backfield and senior running back Evan Bondoc, who rushed for nearly 800 yards and eight touchdowns (6 rushing, 2 receiving) last season. He earned a First Team All-Conference in pick the process. The Crusaders also welcome back an honorable mention quarterback in senior Bobby Dunn, who threw for more than 1,300 yards and 12 touchdowns. The Crusaders saw their season end, falling to Reedsburg, 13-10 in the Level 1 game. Second team tight end Alex Semrow and honorable mention running back Alan Anderson also return to the gridiron. Still, the offense needs to take a step forward this season. In the four losses last year they scored a total of just 24 points. The defensive unit will be led by returning AllConference linebacker A.J. Imholte. The team needs to be ready right out of the gates, as they face Waunakee and DeForest the first two weeks in non-conference crossovers.

Stoughton (2-4, 3-6)

Stoughton has been very close to ending its 15-year playoff drought in recent years. Despite heading into the 2013 season with several question marks and a new head coach, the Vikings are hoping to finally but and end to their drought. Jason Thiry, formerly the head coach at Morton (Ill.), replaces Sean Stokes as the team’s head coach. He inherits a program that returns four starters on each side of the ball and has good numbers throughout the program. The bad news is most of last season’s offensive production has graduated. Stoughton defeated Sauk Prairie 35-18 in week 1.

Milton (1-5, 3-6)

Monroe (3-3, 4-5)

Monroe ended a nine-year playoff drought with the Cheesemakers first playoff appearance since 2003. Head coach Curt Miller, who enters his fifth year at the helm, hopes to continue to build on recent success, but faces an uphill battle with the loss of a large and talented senior class. Several three-year starters are gone, leaving just two starters on offense and three on defense. The JV team struggled as well and may not provide much depth after finishing winless a year ago. As if things weren’t going to be challenging enough, they open with a first four game stretch of Mount Horeb/Barneveld, Waunakee, DeForest, and Monona Grove. Charlie Kind, Noah Thompson, and Cody Wolf give the Cheesemakers experience at the skill positions, while Ryan Hughes is one of the league’s top defenders, earning first team all-conference recognition at linebacker. Kind is also an outstanding punter.

Milton featured a solid offensive unit and D1 recruit AJ Natter on defense last year, but were never able to put things together on the field, finishing 1-5 in league play. Longtime head coach Jeff Bachinski was removed, with Bill O’Leary taking over. O’Leary, a Milton native, spent nine seasons as head coach at Janesville Craig before stepping down five years ago. While last year’s starting quarterback Evan Phillips graduated, junior Tyler Westrick stepped right in after starting three games as a freshPhoto by Joe Koshollek man filling in for Phillips. Junior running back Brady Brusegar breaks free from the pack during a 60-yard touchdown run Friday Nate Trewyn is a standout on the offen- in week 1 against Sauk Prairie. sive line and garnering college attention. Of the Red Hawks losses, four were by a touchdown or less.

Oregon (0-6, 0-8)

Oregon hasn’t been to the postseason since 2009, and while it figures to be a challenge to qualify this year, there could be some improvement in the program. The Panthers featured a relatively young team last year and welcome back a number of promising players. Josh Sromovsky is a versatile junior, earning second team allconference recognition as a receiver and honorable mention as a defensive back. Oregon defeated Baraboo 39-19 in week 1.

Stoughton: Conference season starts Sept. 6
Continued from page 9 guy has to be able to step right in.” Stoughton opened its season Friday at home against Sauk Prairie. The Vikings continue their season with a second Badger Conference crossover game Aug. 30 at Reedsburg before opening Southern Badger play Sept. 6 on the road against a Fort Atkinson team which many are predicting to be a title contender. Madison Edgewood, which finished third a year ago, comes to Stoughton for the conference home opener on Sept. 13. The Vikings host fourtime defending conference champion Monona Grove for Homecoming on Oct. 4. His first time through the conference season, Thiry said he’ll be relying on information off the Internet and from the input of the coaches on his staff. “I know one thing,” he said. “In this conference you must be ready to go every Friday night.” The biggest challenge Thiry said the team is going to face this year won’t be on the field, but rather in changing the culture. “We have to get everyone believing that we can win on any given Friday,” he said. “It’s going to be a process, but the faster we can get out guys believe in that, the better off we’re going be.” Right now the Vikings just have to worry about competing every Friday night. “Our plan here is compete, contend and build into championships,” Thiry said. “If we compete as hard as we can, hopefully we’ll get a couple wins on the board and make the push to get back into the playoffs.”

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14 – Football Guide – August 29, 2013

Big 8: Spots 4-10 are up for grabs in the Big Eight Conference
Continued from page 7 week span. It travels to Madison West on Sept. 20, and it hosts Verona on Sept. 27. Middleton travels to Sun Prairie on Oct. 4. Middleton was blown out 31-14 in week 1. help make the running lanes and protect senior Brandon Toman at the quarterback position. “We will be able to play teams with a better run/pass balanced attack,” head coach mike Galindo said. Many of the Spartans double on defense, with Brusewitz returning as a first-team linebacker. Memorial played Middleton in week 1, and it travels to Madison West on Sept. 12. The Spartans travel to Verona on Sept. 20, and it hosts Sun Prairie on Sept. 27. who caught 18 passes for 434 yards and six touchdowns. On defense, Craig loses first-team allconference linebacker Paul Foster. Craig travels to Verona Sept. 6, and it hosts Sun Prairie Sept. 12. The Cougars finish the season on the road with games at Middleton (Oct. 11) and at Janesville Parker (Oct. 18). Craig outscored Madison East 42-26 in week 1. Madison West Sept. 27, and it travels to Verona Oct. 4. The Vikings finish the season at home against Sun Prairie (Oct. 11) and Janesville Craig (Oct. 18).

Beloit Memorial (1-7)

Madison Memorial (5-3, 5-4)

Madison Memorial is back without its two best players from 2012 – both on offense. Quarterback Joe Ferguson and wide receiver/defensive back Jester Weah both graduated after leading the Spartans on offense in 2012 and earning first-team allconference honors. Ferguson was 122-for-266 for 1,759 yards, 16 touchdowns and six interceptions last season, and he also led Memorial with 317 yards on 48 carries and 11 touchdowns on the ground. Weah was his No. 1 target. He caught 38 passes for 799 yards and eight touchdowns. Weah also earned a first-team selection as a kick returner. But the Spartans also return a core of running backs that had experience last season and much of its offensive line. Senior Ra’Quan Cunnigan returns as the top running back from last season. He ran for 278 yards on 50 carries with two touchdowns. Senior running backs Ryan Brusewitz and Trevis Miller also return to the team. On the O-line, Seniors Sam Kimball, Logan Ginther and Jim Sullivan return to

Madison La Follette (3-5)

Janesville Craig (3-5)

Janesville Craig was expected to compete for a top three spot with a loaded offensive line in 2012, but the chemistry wasn’t there in a disappointing 3-5 campaign. This season, the expectations are not as high with many starters graduating from last season. Quarterback Andy Miller (37-for-75, 581 yards, four touchdowns, two interceptions) is gone, but backup Tom Gabower replaces him with more attempts due to an injury to Miller. Gabower completed 29 of 89 passes for 374 yards, five touchdowns and four interceptions. He also rushed for 115 yards on 10 carries and collected six touchdowns. Nick and Jared Krueger and Michael Whitaker leave voids at the running back position, however. The three combined for 757 yards on 86 carries and scored seven touchdowns. Also gone is wide receiver Darian Sharifi,

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Madison La Follette has a lot of turnover on offense in 2013, losing first-team offensive lineman Luke Lanzendorf. It also loses quarterback Troy Teigen and running back Jermaine Richmond. But the offense does return senior running back Andre Saunders and senior wide receiver Marcus Collins. Collins also looks to anchor the defense after earning first-team honors at defensive back. The Lancers have a brutal schedule with three straight road games to open the season, including a Sept. 6 matchup at Madison West. La Follette then hosts Verona on Sept. 12 and travels to Sun Prairie on Sept. 20. It closes the regular season with games at Madison Memorial (Oct. 11) and against Madison East (0-8) Middleton (Oct. 18). Madison East had one of its worst seaLa Follette handled Janesville Parker sons, including a loss to Beloit Memorial, 42-21 in week 1. which lost 25 in a row up to that game. The Purgolders lose a few starters on Janesville Parker (2-6) offense this season, but it does bring back Janesville Parker’s only two wins came experience with junior quarterback Zach against Madison East and Beloit Memorial Zilm. last season, but it returns its leading rusher Zilm replaces Tony Ciufo, who was and second-team all-conference selection 33-for-102 with 437 yards and eight intersenior Dai-Von Vance-Jenkins. ceptions. Zilm started one game for East in Senior Wiiliam Theisen had some experi- 2012 and was 11-for-15 with 91 yards, a ence at quarterback last season, but he will touchdown and an interception. have to replace 2012 starter Jaren Norrell All-conference honorable mention Chrisbehind center this season. gin Fagan returns to anchor the offensive Theisen does have three of the five top line, but East needs replacements for runtargets to throw to from 2012. Seniors ning backs Jamari Manuel and Demarco Samuel Drozdowicz, Sean Smith and Deon Martin and wide receivers Raymond Morel Sanders all return to the wide receiver/tight and Traveon Wright. end core. East hosts Madison Memorial Sept. 6, On defense, The Vikings will have to travels to Middleton Sept. 12 and travels to make up for the loss of second-team defen- Madison West Oct. 4. sive back Tyler Brooks. The Purgolders finish the season against Parker travels to Madison Memorial Aug. Verona (Oct. 11) and at Sun Prairie (Oct. 30, and it hosts Middleton Sept. 6. It hosts 18).

Beloit Memorial snapped a 25-game losing streak last season, toppling Madison East. And it looks like this season will be just as much of a challenge for the Purple Knights to get a win like the previous seven years. Beloit Memorial played Verona in week 1, and it travels to Middleton Aug. 30. The Purple Knights then host Sun Prairie Sept. 6. Beloit finishes the season against Madison West (Oct. 11) and at Madison Memorial (Oct. 18). Beloit looks to be young with only 10 returning letterwinners, including Justin O’Neil, Brynale Dean, Denzel Barnes, Nick Somers and Mark Hallet. Barnes returns at quarterback after going 62-for-167 for 694 yards, eight touchdowns and 15 interceptions in 2012. Dean was one of the main targets at wide receiver for Barnes. He was second-team all-conference.

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Football Guide – August 29, 2013 – 15

Photo by Anthony Iozzo

Senior quarterback John Tackett participates in a 2-minute drill at practice Tuesday, Aug. 20. Tackett is going to be the starting quarterback this season.

Photo by Anthony Iozzo

Alan Brown makes a catch at practice during a 2-minute drill from John Tackett while Trevor Nierman (right) guards the line of scrimmage.

Verona: Hanson takes over as kicker
Continued from page 5 “He is such a good athlete,” Richardson said. “He is a three-sport athlete, who has played varsity in all of his sports the last two years, so I know he is conditioned and know he is smart enough to handle it.” Griffin will also play some time at defensive back this season. Seniors Grant Furniss, Kenny Keyes, Nathan Procell, Zach Nechtaval and Mike Dahloff return at defensive back to join Flora and Griffin.

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Special teams

Another loss for Verona comes at special teams with the loss of first team kicker Derek Witte and Sharer, who was the main returner on punts and kickoffs. Schmid, Murray, Flora, Brown and Tindall all expect to make an impact at the return game this year, Richardson said. Witte hit 37 of 43 extrapoint attempts in 2012 and was 2-for-4 with field goals.

Photo by Anthony Iozzo

Eric Schmid catches the ball on a kick return exercise.

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Junior Nick Hanson is expected to fill Witte’s role, while one of the running backs will fill the role at returner. “Witte was a pretty good kicker the last three years,” Richardson said. “We are

hoping Nick Hanson can come through. He is a converted soccer player that could be just as good as Derek, but we will find out when the lights go on Friday with how well he can perform.”


16 – Football Guide – August 29, 2013

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