Falcons enter season with high hopes

by Steve Ottman Falls News Correspondent


MEMBERS OF THE SHEBOYGAN FALLS High School football team go through preseason workouts in preparation for the Falcons’ season opening football game this Friday, Aug. 21, at home against Milwaukee Washington at 7 p.m. - Falls News photo by Steve Ottman MEMBERS OF THE SHEBOYGAN FALLS High School football team go through preseason workouts in preparation for the Falcons’ season opening football game this Friday, Aug. 21, at home against Milwaukee Washington at 7 p.m. - Falls News photo by Steve Ottman Anticipation will be running high as the Sheboygan Falls High School football team kickoffs its 2015 season this Friday evening.

Fifth-year head coach Brian Berlin feels that this group of Falcons has the potential to make a run to the playoffs for the first time in four years.

Last season Falls finished 2-5 in the Eastern Wisconsin Conference (2-7 overall) and missed the playoffs for the third year in row.

This year the Falcons move into a new-look EWC, with a different outlook and as a possible favorite to contend for the conference championship.

Three teams from the former EWC, Kiel, New Holstein and Two Rivers, will return to the fold.

New teams to the EWC this year are Brillion, Chilton, Roncalli and Valders.

“We can be a favorite in our conference,” said Berlin. “We need to stay healthy and play our style of football.

“We have six home games and our coaching staff has spent a tremendous number of hours of work to make this a special year,” he said.

Two seasons ago, the Falcons had seven seniors on its squad. Last year they had just nine, but this year the roster boasts 12 seniors with a returning core of 16 starters.

Falls lost nine seniors to graduation last year, including All- EWC honorees Joe Van Engen, Dalton Winter and Mike Bimmel.

“Some of our players are returning three-year varsity starters,” remarked Berlin. “This group has worked hard in the weight room in the offseason. Our strength will be very significant to our success.”

Berlin stated that this year’s team should remain strong on offense and has improved on defense. Last season, the Falcons were second in rushing in the EWC.

Leading the rushing core group will be seniors Dustin Setzer (792 yards, 6 touchdowns) and Sean Mattek (713 yards, 9 touchdowns).

Both Setzer and Mattek have eclipsed 1,000 career rushing yards.

Joining the running back group is senior Josh Becker, who adds speed to an already dangerous backfield.

Senior quarterback Ryan Schmitt will be the Falcons’ signal caller. He completed 32-of-76 passes for 459 yards with five interceptions and two touchdowns last year.

Senior Beau Goudreau and junior Lucas Kaland return as wide receivers along with senior tight end Austin Elsing.

Returning linemen include senior center Max Post, senior Zach Timreck and junior Bryce Stahl.

Junior Jared Tenpas moves from tight end to the line and junior Vinny Hoderny is also expected start in the line.

On defense, the linebacking group will be led by Setzer, Becker, Mattek and Elsing. The cornerbacks are Goudreau, senior Glenn Borden and junior Cody Struebing.

With a new group up front, the defensive line looks to feature Nate Garczynski, Tenpas and Stahl, along with junior Caleb Rutherford, Hoderny and Timreck.

“We plan to run a 4-4 defense most of the time and a 4-3 in different situations,” Berlin said.

Newcomers to the Falcons’ squad are seniors Austin Madden, Tyler Beeck and Andrew Kue. Sophomore Jared Petrie is an additional threat in the backfield.

“We will be incorporating more players in our system this season,” Berlin commented. “This is the largest group of athletic skill players I’ve had in my five years.”

Berlin said that the move to a new conference will be tough. However it gives the Falcons a fresh new outlook for the future.

“We’ve seen Chilton before, but Valders, Roncalli and Brillion are teams we haven’t played lately,” Berlin said. “We’ll have to rely on films and scouting reports. The kids are positive and they have great leadership qualities, which will make for a great season.”

Berlin said the team looked good in a recent scrimmage against top teams, Brown Deer, New Berlin West and Kewaskum.

“We competed well with Brown Deer and New Berlin West,” Berlin said. “We played a lot of backups against Kewaskum, to see how our depth looked.”


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