By Becca Neuger
FOR THE LAKER
The back-to-back Twin Cities Red Subdistrict Champion Mound Westonka High School football team opens its season Friday, Sept. 1, under the lights of Haddorff Field. After being upset in semifinal round of the section playoffs the past two seasons, the White Hawks have worked hard in the offseason in order to reach their goals on the gridiron this year.
“We definitely were left with a sour taste in our mouths after our 24-35 loss against Holy Angels last season in the second round of the Section 5AAAA playoffs,” said Nick David, who returns for his fifth season as White Hawks head coach. “We believe that we have enough talent to play with anyone in Class AAAA and are chomping at the bit to get the 2017 season started.”
The White Hawks have 71 players out for football in grades 9-12, including 30 returning letterwinners.
“Our football team has continued to grow every year in my five seasons here, which is a testament to the pride and momentum that has been building around the program,” David said. “We had a great offseason in the weight room and at summer camps and are really excited to see some juniors and sophomores step up to fill in vacant starting positions.”
The White Hawks have six returning starters from last year’s record-breaking, high-scoring offense, including All-District senior running backs Conner Clark and Bobby Sweet, All-District senior wide receiver Evan Dahl and senior offensive linemen Marshall Boser, Bailey Ramlet, and Jarek Witczek.
The White Hawks also have six starters returning from last year’s defense, which forced 29 turnovers and held their opponents to only 11.7 points per game. Returning starters include All-District linebackers Clark, Sweet and junior Kris Kurtz; defensive linemen Witczek and junior Jose Gonzalez; and All-District defensive back Dahl.
“We also return senior kicker and punter Jon Neve, who we believe is one of the most talented kickers in all of Class AAAA,” David said.
Three new coaches—Doug Runke, Zac Coauette and Joe Toth—will join David’s grades 9-12 football staff of Mike Wallace, Jared Chapman, Joel Dahl, Brian Ibs, Kurt Bowe, Matt Sobiech, Mike Schwartz and Colin Charlson.
First game on Haddorff Field Friday, Sept. 1
The White Hawks are set to take on St. Paul Highland Park on Friday, Sept. 1, at home on Haddorff Field. The game begins at 7 p.m. It is also “Tackle Cancer Night,” featuring a couple of different fun activities for fans to help raise money for cancer research.
“We are really excited to kick off our season, not only at home, but against what we believe to be a very quality Class AAAAA opponent in St. Paul Highland Park,” David said.