WAYNE – In just over two weeks Friday night football is back on the gridiron and the Wayne High Blue Devil squad was back to work earlier this week.
NSAA practices officially began on Monday, August 12 where third year head coach Russ Plager started prepping the team.
The varsity team features numbers in the low 40s as coach Plager said this group gets along really well.
“I think we have some kids that have some toughness; mental and physical toughness,” said Plager. “Kids that will come up and hit you which is a good evolution over the past three years.”
Along with coach Plager, Dave Wragge is the defensive coordinator as well as other varsity assistants being Tyler Prauner, Sam Blake and Brendan Dorcey.
Wayne High will look to highlight their tailback position where they believe they have a minimum of four strong players that have played varsity football.
The pads came on Wednesday afternoon and coach Plager expects his team to be a physical group.
“I don’t think they’re going to have any problem getting physical and smacking somebody and getting physical on the line of scrimmage,” Plager added. “But there’s a lot that goes with football and we got to put the whole package together run-game, pass-game and special teams.”
Of the nine opponents that Wayne High will face, five are coming off Class C1 playoff games in 2018 where Wahoo (season opener) and Bishop Neumann (last regular season game) both made it to the semifinals.
Coach Plager mentioned it’ll be a challenging schedule starting with week one on Friday, August 30 at Wahoo.
“They’ll be probably preseason 1, 2 or 3,” Plager mentioned. “So, we’re going to find out where we’re right away, we are going to find out what kind of team chemistry and we’re going to face some adversity in that game.”
Last year Wahoo topped Wayne High 16-0 in Wayne. The Blue Devil season-opener will be aired on The City ‘KCTY’ 98.9/1590 and online at waynedailynews.com with pregame coverage set for 6:45 p.m.