WAKEFIELD – With excitement in the air about hosting four home football games at the new Wakefield Sports Complex this fall, the Trojans are gearing up for a week one road eight-man outing.
Besides from hitting the weight room four mornings a week and hosting a team camp for a week in July, players were able to enjoy their busy summer and time off from school.
Head Wakefield Trojan football coach, Mike Hassler enters his 12th season leading the program and said the team is on the right track by getting stronger and faster.
“Very pleased, good attendance from my football players,” said Hassler. “Max outs at the end of the year, so we took some real big strides so I really felt like we took care of business in that department.”
Week one is about getting use to new personnel while tweaking schemes and new positions.
Wakefield will showcase a roster in the mid-20s.
“We usually get a couple kids the first day of school that show up and change their mind and decide that they want to go out,” Hassler added. “It’s about where we have been for about all of our years in eight-man. This will be our ninth year in eight-man. We’ll be fine and it’s enough to have a varsity team and hopefully have a full JV schedule as long as we stay healthy.”
Due to playing down a class, the Trojans will be ineligible for the playoffs.
Wakefield is coming off a 3-5 record from last season winning three of their final four games.
Assistant head coach is Mike Clay joining head coach Mike Hassler. Also on staff is Chad Metzler (DBs), Will Tietmeyer (Backs/LBs) as well as volunteers Colton McCreary (O/D-line); Evan Donner (O/D-line) as well as Garek Bebee.
Coach Hassler was also given the opportunity to coach in the Sertoma eight-man game in Hastings over the summer.
“To spend a week with those gentlemen picking their brains was just an awesome experience and brought back a lot of stuff,” Hassler mentioned. “Kind of told the kids that I think we can do it better, the way we were doing it was good, but I think we could do it better.”
Wakefield will return four starters on offense and another five on defense.
A key spot that the Trojans will need to address will be one of the top rushers in Class D1 of Logan Bokemper.
Cade Johnson returns as the leading tackler (76 solo tackles, 98 total) and rusher (678 yards/six TDs last year) on this year’s team along with Hunter Schultz who has set school records in catches, yards and touchdowns. Another two-way starter returning will be Walker Lundahl on the line.
Last year as quarterback, Johnson went 51 – 93 for 696 yards and nine touchdowns with six interceptions as Schultz was the top target hauling in 30 catches for 515 yards and nine touchdowns.
As the team practices a few more times on Eaton Field, the new Wakefield Sports Complex will be the site for all upcoming home Trojan football games. This year’s home opener will be on Friday, September 2 at 7 p.m. welcoming in Bancroft-Rosalie.
Coach Hassler said the team will have their hands full in week one at Plainview on Friday, August 26 at 7 p.m.
“Plainview is going to be a tall task,” said Hassler. “They return I believe seven starters on both sides of the ball. They only had one senior that played on last year’s team that they lost and he was a quality player. But anytime you get seven guys back on both sides of the ball, you’re going to have a pretty good team coming into the season.”
Additional players to watch highlighted by coach Hassler is Matt Ladley and Juan Martin on the offensive line as well as Timothy Kaufman and Adrian Flores both splitting time at running back
Wakefield will be hosting a sports drink scrimmage on Friday, August 19 at 7 p.m. on the turf. Fans attending need to bring a sports drink to be admitted to the scrimmage.