Wauseon football returns a bulk of highly-skilled position players as they look to repeat last season’s success in 2020.
The Indians finished the 2019 campaign at 9-3, advancing to the second round of the playoffs where they were ousted by Ottawa-Glandorf. They return seven offensive starters and six defensive starters from that squad.
“We again have some good players on the outside, and we will be looking for someone who can manage our offense by making the correct reads and getting those guys the ball in space,” said second-year coach Shawn Moore on keys for a successful season. “We must also continue to play swarming defense looking to not give up the big plays that set us back in our losses last season.”
Connar Penrod is likely the person the other Northwest Ohio Athletic League teams will look to contain first on the Indians’ offense.
After last season, he was honored with second team All-Ohio honors in Division IV from his wide receiver position, first team All-Northwest District, and second team All-NWOAL. He was also a second team all-league defensive back.
On offense he finished with 73 receptions for 1,254 yards and 16 touchdowns. Defensively, he had 39 tackles and five interceptions.
Also back to aid the offense this season is Jonas Tester. He caught 31 passes for 336 yards and three TDs a year ago. On defense, he racked up 85 tackles and three INTs from his defensive back position, where he was also named second team all-league and honorable mention all-district.
Leading the defensive returnees is linebacker Isaac Wilson who was first team all-league, first team all-district, and third team All-Ohio in 2019. He finished with 79.5 tackles, three sacks and an INT.
Offensively, Wilson carried the ball 63 times for 309 yards and three TDs.
The Indians also have two more all-league linebackers returning: Tyson Britsch and Kolton DeGroff. They were each honorable mention all-league a year ago.
Britsch notched 46 tackles, 2.5 sacks and two INTs, while DeGroff had 28 tackles and one INT. DeGroff also had 14 receptions for 249 yards and one TD on offense.
Other notable returnees for the Indians are Jaden Banister (second team All-NWOAL, Northwest District offensive lineman), Jack Shema (honorable mention All-NWOAL offensive lineman), Matthew Shaw and Samuel Blanco.
“We will again have good leadership this year coming from a lot of guys that played significant roles on our team last year,” said Moore. “We will also have lots of athleticism at the skill positions on both sides of the ball. We will continue to look to get those guys the ball in the open field and allow them to make some plays.”
Notable losses are Cody Figy (second team All-NWOAL, All-Northwest District quarterback), Noah Tester (first team All-NWOAL and second team All-Northwest District defensive back, honorable mention All-NWOAL wide receiver), Sean Brock (first team All-NWOAL and All-Northwest District defensive lineman, honorable mention All-Ohio defensive lineman) and Sammy Sosa (first team All-NWOAL defensive lineman, second team All-Northwest District defensive lineman).
Also gone are Holden Serres (honorable mention All-NWOAL offensive lineman), Wes Spadafore (honorable mention All-NWOAL offensive lineman), Trent Sauber (honorable mention All-NWOAL offensive lineman), Alex Moore (honorable mention All-NWOAL linebacker) and Gavyn Dunn (honorable mention All-NWOAL defensive lineman).
According to Moore, a big hole to fill this season will be up front.
“We will again have to fill some spots on the offensive and defensive lines, so it will be interesting to see how those positions develop throughout the summer and fall. We will also have to build up our depth across the board to allow some guys to get a break here and there,” said the Indians’ coach.
Wauseon should be able to contend for a league title this season; however, the NWOAL is looks very tough.
“The league will again be very competitive from top to bottom this year. I see returning champions Archbold and Liberty Center having strong teams again this year and should be the teams to beat, but every team will need to bring their “A” each and every week,” said Moore.
Wauseon’s modified schedule has them hosting defending co-league champion Liberty Center in week one.