No longer pups, Waubun ready to run with it
With nearly 40 football players out, the Waubun Bombers are ready to build off of last year's 4-4 finish to greater heights.
Despite the 2011 season being looked on as a rebuilding year, the Bombers pulled off a surprising .500 finish and ended on a positive note by giving eventual Nine-Man state entrant Ada-Borup a run for their money in the playoffs.
"The team overachieved a little last year and seeing what we were able to do against Ada-Borup, it really ended on a high note," said second-year head coach Paul Clark.
The Bombers were actually ahead of Ada-Borup with three minutes remaining in the game, before the Cougars rallied to win.
With plenty of experience back off that overachieving 2011 team, the Bombers are looking at bigger things in 2012.
"Ending the way we did, it was nothing but a confidence boost for our guys," Clark added.
The Bombers will start the season with two quarterbacks vying for the starting position in senior Ryan McArthur and sophomore Jordan Spaeth.
Whoever is quarterback, they will have a stout line in front of them and a very good backfield behind them.
Senior running back Cody Kologi has improved his speed, but still possesses a strong downhill rushing style.
There is good competition on the offensive line, with senior Drake Kier coming into the season in top shape and junior Alex Medina returning as an all-conference center.
"We don't have any superstars on the line, but just a bunch of hard workers," Clark said. "They are hard competitors."
There could be some bigger plays downfield, as well, with 6-foot-1 senior receiver Jason Hanks back. Hanks had five big receptions against Ada-Borup in the playoffs last year.
The defensive unit will be led by John Clark, who is former longtime Waubun head coach and the father to Paul.
"The defense will be improved, since we do have eight starters back," Paul Clark said. "They are all about a half-step quicker and much stronger."
Kologi will lead the Bomber defense from his middle linebacker spot and gathered almost 70-percent of the tackles in 2011.
"He certainly has a nose for the ball," Clark said. "We also will have up to 12 different guys to plug into the defensive line, so we have the potential to wear offenses out later in the game."
Clark added the secondary is a work in progress, but has plenty of players vying for playing time there.
The bar has been set to compete as a top three team in the conference and compete for a spot in the section championship.
"Then if you make it that far, anything can happen," the Waubun coach said.
8/31 7:00 PM Sacred Heart H.S. (89MAN)
9/7 7:00 PM Win-E-Mac (89MAN)
9/14 7:00 PM @ Norman County West (89MAN)
9/21 7:00 PM Norman County East (69MAN)
9/28 5:00 PM @ Park Christian (69MAN)
10/5 7:00 PM Ulen-Hitterdal (69MAN)
10/12 7:00 PM @ Rothsay (69MAN)
10/17 7:00 PM @ Ada-Borup (69MAN)