Vikings seek to erase struggles of 2016

By Max Householder -

The 2017 Evergreen coaching staff.

The 2017 Evergreen coaching staff.

Evergreen’s returning letter winners for the 2017 season.

The Evergreen football team has a new energy around it with a new coach at the helm in 2017.

Photo courtesy B & D Photography

2017 Roster
1Reece Serna10WR/DB
2Jack Etue10QB/DB
3Free Canales12WR/DB
4David Carroll11WR/DB
5Hunter VanWert11RB/DB
6Trent Coopshaw9RB/LB
7Tanner Pollard9QB/LB
8Hunter Svoboda11WR/DB
9Jagger DeWitt10RB/DB
10Josh Dowling12WR/DB
12Aaron Pember12RB/LB
13Tristan Cordray11TE/DB
14Colin Smith9WR/DB
16David Fuller9TE/DB
17Justin Krempec10RB/LB
18Brian Floyd10WR/LB
21Grant Donnald12RB/LB
23Gavyn Dunn10WR/DB
26Dieago Funk12RB/DT
27Jacob Fuller9TE/DE
28Jacob Riggs9WR/LB
32Jack Krispin10TE/LB
35Shane Ruetz10WR/DB
44Nick Beemer10TE/LB
45Brandon Taylor10RB/LB
50Isaac Yunker11OL/LB
51Conner Sawyers12OL/DT
52Logan Fox9OL/DE
53Colten Pawlaczyk11OL/DE
54Noah Malosh12OL/DT
55Josh Adkins11OL/DT
56Bryce Eisel11OL/LB
57Trevor Carter12OL/DT
61Jack Worline11OL/DT
62Isaiah Ziegler11OL/DE
66Logan York9OL/DT
67Tyler Peppers10OL/DT
70Brendan Matuszack9OL/DT
71Will Smithmyer10OL/DT
75Dustin Stubleski10OL/DT
76Andrew Canfield9OL/DT
77Levi Moore10OL/DT
79Jace Jenkins11OL/DT

The Evergreen football program has a new coach this season, and with that brings a lot of positive energy. They are hoping that brings them more wins this season as they are coming off a 2016 campaign in which they finished 0-10.

“We hope to make improvements from last year,” said new coach Aaron Schmidt. “Building off a solid and young core (of players). Hoping to continue to improve (from) game to game and practice to practice.”

Probably the most important piece back for the Vikings is running back Hunter Van Wert, who was also first team All-NWOAL on special teams a year ago.

“He is somebody we’ve got to try and get loose. He is a weapon that we need to take advantage of,” said Schmidt of the junior tailback.

Senior Grant Donnald (honorable mention all-league) will be getting some carries as well for the Vikings.

“He ran track last year and got a lot faster,” said Schmidt of Donnald. “Him and Hunter are gonna be working well in the backfield together.”

Handing the ball off to those two will be sophomore signal caller Jack Etue. He was honorable mention all-league in 2016, and Schmidt is pleased with the progress he’s made.

“We’ve got our quarterback coming back,” he said. “He is three months past being a freshman. He is still young and he still makes some freshman mistakes, but he is gonna be really good.

“We’ve got a really good quarterbacks coach in Tyler Kleeberger. He is really working with him. Working on making reads and just little things.”

The Vikings also have many of their receivers back according to Schmidt. One of those is senior Free Canales, another honorable mention all-league performer from a year ago.

Other returnees include Noah Malosh, Conner Sawyers, David Carroll, Hunter Svoboda, Isaac Yunker, Colten Pawlaczyk, Bryce Eisel (honorable mention all-league), Jack Worline, Isaiah Ziegler, Brian Floyd, Jack Krispin, Nick Beemer (honorable mention all-league) and Shane Ruetz.

The Vikings are adding newcomers Josh Dowling, Jagger Dewitt, Will Smithmyer and Jace Jenkins. They will be looking to fill the void left behind by graduated letter winners Tyler Noe (honorable mention all-league) and Jon Milliken.

Schmidt feels another strength of his team will be their defense.

“I think our defense is gonna be pretty solid,” he said. “I think we are gonna need to make sure that we focus on stopping the run. We’ve got some good athletes in the defensive backfield.”

Being that he is a first year coach in the league, the Viking mentor is unsure of how his team will stack up against the rest of the competition. He just knows that it will be a battle each week.

“It is one of the best leagues in northwest Ohio. There is good football teams, there’s good coaches,” said Schmidt of the NWOAL. “Every week is gonna be a challenge, both mentally and physically for our kids. And for our coaching staff.”

Evergreen will be looking to follow the old mantra of one game at a time, without looking ahead of any opponent.

“A team that was 0-10 last year, we literally have to go from game to game. We have 10 one-game seasons,” said Schmidt. “We have a week to prepare (for each game). We are gonna try and do whatever we can to be successful that night, and to get better.”

Evergreen opens the season at home versus Otsego Friday, then they travel to Montpelier Sept. 1, before returning home to face Ottawa Hills on Sept. 8. They open league play at home against league favorite Liberty Center on Sept. 15.

The 2017 Evergreen coaching staff. 2017 Evergreen coaching staff.

Evergreen’s returning letter winners for the 2017 season.’s returning letter winners for the 2017 season.

The Evergreen football team has a new energy around it with a new coach at the helm in 2017. Evergreen football team has a new energy around it with a new coach at the helm in 2017. Photo courtesy B & D Photography

By Max Householder

2017 Roster
No. Name Grade Position
1 Reece Serna 10 WR/DB
2 Jack Etue 10 QB/DB
3 Free Canales 12 WR/DB
4 David Carroll 11 WR/DB
5 Hunter VanWert 11 RB/DB
6 Trent Coopshaw 9 RB/LB
7 Tanner Pollard 9 QB/LB
8 Hunter Svoboda 11 WR/DB
9 Jagger DeWitt 10 RB/DB
10 Josh Dowling 12 WR/DB
12 Aaron Pember 12 RB/LB
13 Tristan Cordray 11 TE/DB
14 Colin Smith 9 WR/DB
16 David Fuller 9 TE/DB
17 Justin Krempec 10 RB/LB
18 Brian Floyd 10 WR/LB
21 Grant Donnald 12 RB/LB
23 Gavyn Dunn 10 WR/DB
26 Dieago Funk 12 RB/DT
27 Jacob Fuller 9 TE/DE
28 Jacob Riggs 9 WR/LB
32 Jack Krispin 10 TE/LB
35 Shane Ruetz 10 WR/DB
44 Nick Beemer 10 TE/LB
45 Brandon Taylor 10 RB/LB
50 Isaac Yunker 11 OL/LB
51 Conner Sawyers 12 OL/DT
52 Logan Fox 9 OL/DE
53 Colten Pawlaczyk 11 OL/DE
54 Noah Malosh 12 OL/DT
55 Josh Adkins 11 OL/DT
56 Bryce Eisel 11 OL/LB
57 Trevor Carter 12 OL/DT
61 Jack Worline 11 OL/DT
62 Isaiah Ziegler 11 OL/DE
66 Logan York 9 OL/DT
67 Tyler Peppers 10 OL/DT
70 Brendan Matuszack 9 OL/DT
71 Will Smithmyer 10 OL/DT
75 Dustin Stubleski 10 OL/DT
76 Andrew Canfield 9 OL/DT
77 Levi Moore 10 OL/DT
79 Jace Jenkins 11 OL/DT

Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010

Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010