Tiger coach optimistic about grid season

by Greg Ceilley of The Review staff


AUSTIN EDGE, Howards Grove quarterback, rolls out on a pass play as teammates Zach Fritz (middle) and Sam Scholten block against Chilton during Friday’s football scrimmage. — Review photo by Greg Ceilley AUSTIN EDGE, Howards Grove quarterback, rolls out on a pass play as teammates Zach Fritz (middle) and Sam Scholten block against Chilton during Friday’s football scrimmage. — Review photo by Greg Ceilley HOWARDS GROVE – Staying healthy will be a huge key for the Howards Grove Tigers this season as they have only 34 players in their football program, including just 18 regular varsity members.

On the bright side, however, the Tigers are in strong condition which will help them combat their lack of depth.

“We have had good off-season and summer workouts. The kids are in very good shape,” said Tiger head coach David Schmid who is in his 12th season at Howards.

“They all played a lot of snaps at the scrimmage and conditioning was not a factor. We are a very smart and hard-working football team.”

The Tigers hosted a scrimmage Friday and it also included Sheboygan Falls, Chilton and Sturgeon Bay.


TRAVIS STANCZYK of Howards Grove tries to gain extra yardage on a short pass reception while teammate Evan Klueger looks to block a Chilton defender in Friday’s football scrimmage. — Review photo by Greg Ceilley TRAVIS STANCZYK of Howards Grove tries to gain extra yardage on a short pass reception while teammate Evan Klueger looks to block a Chilton defender in Friday’s football scrimmage. — Review photo by Greg Ceilley “The scrimmage went well. No one got hurt and we played well,” said Schmid.

“The kids have picked up on our new schemes quickly and executed pretty well. We still have some work to do but I told the kids I was very impressed.

“I am very excited about the season. We have had a lot of changes in our coaching staff and they have brought some changes to our offense and defense that the kids have really bought into,” said the coach.

In addition to the team being in very good shape, Schmid said the Tigers’ other main strength is being a close-knit team for all grade levels.

A lack of players and seniors are weaknesses for the Tigers.

“We have only three seniors. Everyone is going to have to contribute but if someone gets hurt it will leave a big hole on our team,” Schmid pointed out.

“Lack of numbers is a big concern. It makes it difficult to practice full speed and get game looks but we will be smart and continue to have a lot of fun out there everyday.”

Other keys for the Tigers to have success are to play hard with enthusiasm, grow close as a team and make plays, according to the coach.

The Tigers lost a wealth of talent from last year’s state playoff team, including 11 All-Central Lakeshore Conference players, and return only five starters. Howards graduated most of its offense, including the leading rusher (running back Cole McCraw) and receiver (split end Donald Oneson), and starting quarterback (Tom Hansen).

Senior Austin Edge, who played wide receiver last year, takes over the quarterback reigns this season. The other seniors are Jordan Siemers and Daniel Cotet who are offensive and defensive linemen. Cotet earned All-CLC honorable mention at defensive line in 2012.

The three seniors were starters last season, with Edge at defensive back and the other two in the line on offense and defense. The other returning starters are junior Evan Klueger, an offensive/defensive lineman and junior Ethan Brinkman at wide receiver and defensive back. Klueger was named to the All-CLC honorable-mention offensive line.

Schmid is counting on the seniors to provide key leadership for a young squad.

“Our team will be led by our three seniors. You win with seniors and they will take us as far as they can. Clearly, with small numbers everyone will have to contribute,” he said.

Schmid has been impressed with the junior class.

“The group of juniors, who we are going to have to rely on heavily, all came in ready to play and contribute at the varsity level. That is not always the case, but this group is pretty hungry,” the coach noted.

Schmid hopes to have a balanced offense this season, running primarily the pro and pistol formations with some option. The defense will use a 4-4 set.

“We hope to run 50 percent and pass 50 percent,” said Schmid.

Schmid expects defending champion Cedar Grove-Belgium to be the CLC title favorite.

“The conference will be solid top to bottom. Every week will be a battle. Until someone knocks Cedar Grove off, I would say they are the team to beat,” said Schmid.

The Tigers finished 2-2 in the CLC and placed third, and was 3-6 overall. Howards lost in the first round of the Division 5 playoffs to Racine Catholic, 27-7.

Schmid pointed out his top goals for the season.

“Our goals always remain the same: qualify and win a playoff game, win conference and advance to state. Lofty goals, but we like to aim high and I think this team is up to the challenge,” he said.

HOWARDS GROVE
FOOTBALL SCHEDULES
Varsity
Aug. 23 – @ Shiocton
Aug. 30 – Kiel, here
Sept. 6 – Manitowoc Lutheran, here
Sept. 13 – @ Reedsville
Sept. 20 – Cedar Grove, here
Sept. 27 – @ Oostburg
Oct. 4 – Random Lake, here
Oct. 11 – @ Ozaukee
Oct. 18 – SL/Koh./SC, here
Junior Varsity
Aug. 27 – Kiel, here
Sept. 3 – @ St. Mary’s Springs
Sept. 10 – Manitowoc Lutheran, here
Sept. 17 – Sheb. L./Koh./SC, here
Sept. 24 – Cedar Grove, here
Oct. 1 – @ Oostburg
Oct. 8 – Random Lake, here
Oct. 15 – @ Ozaukee

HOWARDS GROVE VARSITY
FOOTBALL ROSTER

Name Gr. Pos.
Austin Edge 12 QB-DB
Jordan Siemers 12 OL-DL
Daniel Cotet 12 OL-DL
Ethan Brinkman 11 SE-DB
Jonah Gerber 11 TE-DL

Luke Stanczyk 11 QB-LB
Quentin Zettler 11 RB-LB
Alex Strege 11 RB-DB
Zach Fritz 11 SE-DB
Marcus Bohman 11 SE-DB
Hunter Hahn 11 RB-LB
Trenton Benninghaus 11 OL-LB
Drew Akright 11 OL-DL
Tyler Myszewski 11 OL-DL
Zach Mock 11 OL-DL
Evan Klueger 11 OL-DL
Willie Goedeke 11 OL-DL
Andrew Reinemann 11 SE-DB
Micah Rautmann 10 SE-DB
Travis Stanczyk 10 QB-DB
Zac Stauss 10 TE-LB
Nathaniel Wagner 10 RB-LB
Brad Olson 10 RB-LB
Sam Scholten 10 OL-LB
Alex Navis 10 OL-DL
Nick Brickner 10 OL-DL
Mitchell Rickmeier 10 TE-DL
Josh Scheuren 9 SE-DB
Jacob Fritz 9 RB-LB
Zach Gordon 9 RB-DB
Noah Bramstedt 9 SE-DB
Ty Bender 9 OL-DL
Alex Merenick 9 OL-DL
Michael Gray 9 TE-DL


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