Winside Football Seeking Third Straight Playoff Appearance

Winside Football Seeking Third Straight Playoff Appearance
File photo from 2021 Winside football season.

WINSIDE – With several of the skill positions graduated from last year’s team, the Winside Wildcats will look to the previous junior-class to guide the incoming underclassmen.

Winside again attended an eight-man team camp at Wayne State College while putting on strength in the weight room.

Michael Naeve enters his fourth season leading the Winside football team and said the team will need to replace a lot of skill but the coaching staff was encouraged by the potential of the incoming freshmen class.

“We had some of our upperclassmen, kind of know what’s going on, and they took charge with the younger kids as far as helping them out,” said Naeve. “Which was really encouraging as well as far as them coming together, wanting to succeed and continue where we left off the from the previous couple of years making the postseason.”

Winside recently qualified for back-to-back eight-man playoffs with first round losses. The Wildcats went 5-4 each of the past two seasons falling to Wynot, 46-20 in 2020 and Johnson-Brock, 56-12 last year.  The 2021 postseason appearance marked the 14th time in program history that Winside has competed in the playoffs (seven straight from 2004-2010).

Jeff Kollath and Trey Frey will be returning coaches with head coach Naeve leading a roster of 22 which includes five seniors.

“Numbers look good across the board right now for us,” Naeve added. “All the seniors coming back are really encouraged and again they’ve got a different mindset as far as ‘alright it’s our turn and we’re going to continue with what we have been trying to build here’.”

Top returners are senior quarterback Dax Behmer, senior Mason Topp who will anchor the offensive line and middle linebacker as well as senior Dean Kruger as a tight end and defensive end.

A few of the Winside football games will be played in the afternoon this season including their season-opener on Friday, August 26 hosting Bloomfield as well as another 2 p.m. home kickoff against Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family on September 30.

Coach Naeve mentioned the schedule will be no cake walk.

“Obviously, Howells-Dodge coming down from D1 down to D2 and St. Francis (Humphrey) is always tough,” Naeve mentioned. “So, we’ve got a tough schedule ahead of us, but I think that with our drive and desire to succeed I think it’s a challenge that the kids are really looking forward to.”

Winside will also have a road afternoon game at Walthill on Friday, September 16 at 3 p.m.