Menomonee Falls Indians football preview
Character and experience could lead Falls back to state playoffs this fall
Menomonee Falls - As the Menomonee Falls football team was finishing its conditioning session at its Aug. 11 practice, one player lagged behind despite putting in what looked like his best effort.
But his teammates did not jump all over him for making everybody wait. No, this strong-willed and unified group got behind him and encouraged him to finish as best he could.
And that's the attitude that veteran Indians coach John Baker has come to expect out of his squad, which looks to make a run at the state playoffs this fall.
"The guys are really high energy," he said, "… and they're a great group of kids. I'm really proud of their commitment and their character."
Which will hopefully translate into wins this fall.
"We've got a lot experience this season and that's going to help," said senior linebacker John Kontowicz, "… because we never finished games last fall (losing four close decisions). You've got to have those if you want to be a good team. We have to go a lot harder all the time and not be afraid or hesitant."
The Indians return five starters on offense and six on defense.
Back on offense will be junior quarterback Brett Krause, senior wide receiver/running back Matt Christensen, junior wide receiver/back Justin Johnson, senior running back Otis White and senior offensive lineman Garrett Bentzler. Senior tight end Nic DeMore and senior receiver Brandon Blanke will help out in the passing game.
Baker has been very impressed with the work ethic and leadership of Krause.
Upfront will be senior Kevin Walker, juniors Dan Bell (6-6, 275) and Cameron Green, and sophomore Jack DeWalt.
On defense, Kontowicz will be the leader and will get help from other experienced hands in the 3-5 set such as seniors Jared Bratchett (line), Ryan Bowe (linebacker) and James Ulicki (linebacker).
The secondary will be very experienced as safeties Zach Weyenberg (senior) and Cole Hernikl (junior) both return, as does senior cornerback David Staron.
Newcomers vying for spots include linemen Spencer Kolbeck (senior) and Troy Tyler (junior), junior linebacker Ryan Schmit and defensive backs seniors Tyler Olive, Duncan McKennie and Brennan Schneider and junior Matt Conrady.
Baker said he himself is going to do a better job this fall.
"We had so much change going into last year (17 starters lost), and I should have done a better job of getting the kids going," he said. "This year, there's going to be no excuses. The kids want to finish games and so do I."
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