WAYNE – Blue Devil football is under two weeks away from starting their 2021 campaign and will look for another strong start to the season.
Throughout the summer the players have been lifting and also participating in team camps.
Head coach Russ Plager will return for his fifth season leading the Wayne High football team and has spent six years with the program. Coach Plager said the first week of practice has been good.
“We’ve got a lot of older kids who have been doing a really good job of leading,” said Plager. “Lot of kids with experience still even though we lost some good players and some talented players. A lot of kids who have been on the field, so that’s good to have that leadership in practice.”
Friday’s practice was the first day of full pads featuring a defensive practice where the team installed their base defense a few variations.
Wayne High finished 6-4 (correction from video) last year but started the year with three consecutive wins (two on the road). WHS ended the regular season with a 19-9 home loss against the defending Class C1 state champions, Pierce. The Blue Devils suffered a 31-13 loss to Adams Central in the playoffs which marked the second straight playoff appearance.
Joining coach Plager will be Brendan Dorcey, Aaron Carlson, Tyler Prauner, Brent Pick, Justin Raulston, Sam Blake and Craig Walling leading the roughly 43 players. The Blue Devils will return five starters on offense and six on defense.
WHS will host their football scrimmage on Saturday, August 14 from 2 – 3:30 p.m. at Bob Cunningham Field on the campus of Wayne State College.
The team recently made a few modifications on offense and defense as coach Plager added they’ll just need to clean things up.
“Everything is installed at this point between our summer camps and between us we’ve had a chance,” Plager added. “We’re looking to find out who’s going to win a few positions. We have a few positions that are open, kids are battling for it and we’re always trying to look for depth.”
Wayne High will continue their morning practice prior to the start of the school day along with after school practices the week of August 16 before transitioning to a normal practice routine during game week.
Wayne High will kickoff their season with back-to-back home games with Logan View/Scribner-Snyder on Friday, August 27 at 7 p.m. and host West Point-Beemer on Friday, September 3 at 7 p.m. during their homecoming game.
Coach Plager mentioned what Blue Devil football fans will see this season.
“I think you’re going to see a different style of play on offense,” Plager mentioned. “I think you’re going to see some of the other things will be the same. Kids that love to hit, we got great kids who’ll are going to play hard and just fun to coach them.”
WHS will then visit Columbus Lakeview (Sept. 10) and Ashland-Greenwood (Sept. 17) before hosting Battle Creek (Sept. 24) to close out the month. In October, the Blue Devils will alternate games starting with a home contest vs. their only C2 opponent of Norfolk Catholic (Oct. 1), visit Boone Central (Oct. 8), host O’Neill (Oct. 15) and visit Pierce (Oct. 22).
Wayne High football will be carried on Big Red Country ‘KTCH’ 104.9; The City ‘KCTY’ 98.9/1590 and waynedailynews.com.