New coach, new start for Wolves
There’s a new head coach in Milaca this season.
Senior wide receiver Nic Wolbert and his teammates are hoping it marks the start of a new era for the Wolves as well.
“I think we all just have a better attitude and a better outlook on things,” said Wolbert, whose team finished 0-9 his sophomore season and 2-7 last year.
“It feels like a new start and we know we have some good things going for us.”
One of those things is Wolbert, a 6-foot-3, 210-pounder who caught a team-best 28 catches for 424 yards and three touchdowns a year ago.
And longtime assistant Cory Anderson — who takes over the head coaching job from Randy Johnson — is happy to have him back in the fold.
“A guy like that just gives everybody on the team more confidence,” said Johnson, who spent the past 16 seasons as an assistant coach at the school. “Our nickname for him is Megatron because (like Detroit’s Calvin Johnson) he’s so big and strong.
“He had a great summer in 7-on-7 and we expect big things from him.”
Who will get him the ball is yet to be determined.
Senior Michael Garber was playing quarterback to start last season, but broke a finger in the first game and played wide receiver — as well as starting at safety — when he returned.
Junior Nate Hass took over the starting job and threw for 1,139 yards and nine touchdowns.
The two have been competing for the job this preseason. But Garber is likely to end up at wide receiver.
Six offensive starters are back, including Wolbert and senior Christian Kruse in the receiving corps (though he may play wing back), senior Zach Peterson and Josh Otten at tackle and classmate Brad Bekius at guard.
“Teamwork is going to be the key this season,” Kruse said. “It takes teamwork to make the dream work.
“We have a lot of guys back and everybody wants to be here. We’re going to leave everything out on the field.”
Defensively, six starters are back as well: Otten, senior Austin Weidner and junior Ted Blenkush at linebackers, Garber in the secondary and senior Colton Sailor at defensive end.
“We know what to do to be successful,” Sailor said. “We just have to be more consistent.
“We have a lot of guys who have been through all this now. We played the games. We knew what to expect. So we’re a lot more confident as a team.”