Wauseon football hoping for bounce back year


Although coming off a disappointing season compared to the previous three, Wauseon football has a lot of positivity surrounding the program heading into the 2017 season.

They have 59 nine kids out which includes 14 seniors, and the Indians were recently picked to finish second in the Northwest Ohio Athletic League at the preseason coaches meeting.

“I think this year, the big thing that I notice is just the fact that we have numbers in our senior class,” said head coach Travis Cooper. “That’s one thing that’s vital for a football team. Just to have guys that have been through it before. And guys that can help coach along with the coaches. I think that’s what we have.”

In total, the Indians have 21 returning letter winners.

Some of those key players back are Hunter Yackee (honorable mention All-NWOAL), Owen Newlove (first team All-NWOAL, honorable mention all-district), Everett Bueter (second team All-NWOAL, second team all-district), Junior Martinez (second team All-NWOAL, honorable mention all-district), Dawson Rupp, Trevor Rodriguez (honorable mention All-NWOAL), Zeb Smith and Sean Brock (honorable mention All-NWOAL).

On the offensive side of the ball, coach Cooper will turn it over to Yackee as the starting quarterback. He has some experience, being that he started many games last year as a result of an injury to Brendan Wilson.

There is also a confidence in the skill position players returning for the Indians.

“(Running backs) Everett Bueter and Junior Martinez last year did a great job for us. And so they are both back,” said Cooper. “An all-league receiver in Owen Newlove back outside. A big target. Along with a kid that’s gonna be a junior, that’s just as tall if not taller in Levi Seiler. We’ve got some great length. Our receivers are tall and they’ve got great hands.”

Without divulging too much, Cooper said he is looking to take a different approach to the offense this season.

“I think we are gonna do some different things on offense this year,” he said. “I don’t think you are gonna see our quarterback running as much this year. Try to keep our quarterback healthy.

“I think it’s gonna be interesting. I don’t want to talk too much about what we are gonna do offensively, but it is gonna be different than what we’ve done in the past. But we always want to have a mix (of run and pass). There is no doubt about it though, I think if we have to choose, we are gonna run the football.”

Defensively, the coach sees some positives on the defensive line. Despite being on the shorter side, it is an athletic group that has a chance to excel.

“They are all short. But, they are all really physical, athletic kids,” noted Cooper. “I think that we are quick. And we are not slight, we’ve got some size, we are just not tall. I really like what we are getting up there. I think we are gonna do a better job of holding the line of scrimmage. Last year there were times where, we knew they were running the football and we were just a sieve up front.”

Perhaps the most notable returnee to the defense is Yackee, a two-year letter winner on that side of the ball.

He will be playing more at the safety position this year, whereas previous years he primarily served as an inside linebacker.

After back-to-back NWOAL championships in 2014 and 2015, it has come to be expected that Wauseon be mentioned among the favorites for a league title. Cooper believes that is a possibility for the coming season, but cautions that there are still a lot of unknowns.

“I think it’s always something that your teams will strive for,” said the coach of his team’s league title aspirations. “Now, there is a long ways to go and a lot of things that will play into that. But I think that we can be competitive, and I think that if things fall the way that they are and we achieve as I think we should achieve, we should at least be in the conversation. I think there are gonna be some teams in the league that are gonna be very, very good. Looking at the numbers Liberty has, plus the experience coming back.”

Wauseon opens the season at Fairview this Friday, hosts Tinora Sept. 1, and is at Napoleon Sept. 8 to close out non-league play. The Indians host rival Archbold on Sept. 15 to begin NWOAL competition.

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Wauseon football will be looking to win their third NWOAL title in four years this season.
http://www.fcnews.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/45/2017/08/web1_Wauseon-team.jpgWauseon football will be looking to win their third NWOAL title in four years this season. Max Householder | Fulton County Expositor

The 2017 Wauseon coaching staff.
http://www.fcnews.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/45/2017/08/web1_Wauseon-coaches.jpgThe 2017 Wauseon coaching staff. Max Householder | Fulton County Expositor

Wauseon has 21 returning letter winners for the 2017 season.
http://www.fcnews.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/45/2017/08/web1_Wauseon-letterwinners.jpgWauseon has 21 returning letter winners for the 2017 season. Photo courtesy JV Photography

By Max Householder

mhouseholder@aimmediamidwest.com

2017 Roster

No.

Name

Grade

Position

1

Sinjin Smith

10

WR/DB

2

Hunter Yackee

12

QB/DB

4

Riley Sluder

10

WR/DB

5

Levi Seiler

11

WR/DB

8

Zac Carroll

11

WR/DB

9

Connar Penrod

9

QB/DB

10

Carter Hite

9

WR/DB

11

Thomas Leahy

10

WR/LB

12

Noah Tester

10

WR/DB

13

Garrett Smith

11

QB/DB

14

Cody Figy

10

QB/DB

15

Tyson Britsch

9

WR/LB

16

Alex Moore

10

OL/DL

17

Kyle Zirkle

12

TE/LB

18

Xavier Torres

11

WR/LB

19

Andrew Gray

12

K

20

Everett Bueter

12

RB/DB

21

Mac Warncke

12

WR/LB

22

Sean Brock

10

TE/LB

24

Owen Newlove

12

WR/DB

25

Junior Martinez

12

RB/LB

26

Jalen Suarez

9

WR/LB

27

Noah Sauber

9

WR/DB

29

Kolton DeGroff

9

WR/DB

32

Brady Thomas

9

QB/DB

33

Wyatt Lane

10

RB/LB

34

Jac Schroeder

9

WR/DB

35

Joey Shema

11

WR/LB

40

Blake Cole

12

TE/DL

42

Matt Malone

12

WR/LB

43

Isaac Wilson

9

RB/LB

44

Dawson Rupp

12

WR/DB

50

Christian Cantu

11

TE/LB

50

Jack Shema

9

OL/DL

51

Garrett Demaline

11

OL/DL

52

Cooper Lane

9

OL/LB

53

Hunter Nofziger

9

OL/DL

54

Sam Frank

11

OL/DL

55

Jaiden Falke

11

OL/DL

57

Cameron Cantu

9

OL/DL

58

Zeb Smith

11

OL/LB

59

Cam Sauber

12

OL/DL

60

Jackson Bauer

9

OL/DL

61

Carson Mahlman

10

OL/LB

62

Holden Serres

10

OL/DL

63

Matt Gonzales

11

OL/DL

64

Trent Sauber

10

OL/DL

65

Landon Nisely

9

OL/LB

66

Miguel Gomez

11

OL/DL

67

Darion Wade

10

OL/DL

68

Brandon Moore

12

OL/DL

70

Trevor Rodriguez

11

OL/DL

70

Todd Tussinger

9

72

Ethan Kessler

9

OL/DL

73

Jacob Gillen

12

OL/DL

74

Sammy Sosa

10

OL/DL

75

Andrew Perez

9

OL/DL

76

Dalton Sluder

12

OL/DL

77

Jaden Banister

9

OL/DL

79

Jacob Couts

9

80

Andrew Figgins

9

TE/DB

Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010

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