Mishicot benefiting from senior leadership, depth

Mishicot benefiting from senior leadership, depth

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Mishicot benefiting from senior leadership, depth

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After installing a new offense last season under first-year head coach Matt Dirkmann, the Mishicot football team is hoping a year of experience with the wing-T offense under its belt is just what it needs to break through after finishing 2-7 the past two seasons.

“There were a lot of areas I was not good at last year, but I definitely learned a lot and (I am) trying not to make the same mistakes as last year,” Dirkmann said. “I am better prepared and our team will be better prepared because of it.”

This year’s squad is senior heavy and overall the team has depth, something it didn’t benefit from having last year. Through the first week of practice, Dirkmann has been having the team focusing on its base offensive and defensive plays, and he said younger players have been stepping up immensely to make up for the senior class that graduated in May. Four starters return on each side of the ball and Dirkmann said he expects six or seven players will be going both ways.

“They have been picking up the offense and defense a lot better than last year since it’s the second year going through it. We are just going over some basic stuff, basic plays and trying to build a foundation and expand on that,” Dirkmann said. “So far it’s going a lot better (than last year).”

Dirkmann is also stressing the importance of taking one week at a time. Mishicot currently is strictly looking at what it needs to do against its first opponent –Chilton — which it hosts on Friday after falling to the Tigers last season 21-7. It is something Dirkmann has been preaching since the start of camp, with his players appearing to be taking the hint.

“We have to take it one step at a time. The week before (a game), just focus on that one game, don’t look ahead too much, just focus on one game at a time,” senior running back and cornerback Lucas Finnel said. “We need to do the things our coaches teach us. Don’t try and be heroes out there, just do your role, don’t worry about anyone else because you can’t be a super hero out there, just have to know your role.”

Mishicot’s offense will be without a trio of Olympian Packerland-Large All-Conference honorable mentions who graduated in the offseason — tight end Daniel Butler, offensive lineman Jake LaFleur and running back Collin Krejcarek. However, now-senior running back Chris Kornelly, also an OPL honorable mention, returns, and players also stressed the closeness of the team as an improvement upon last season.

“We are a little bit closer. We are not as hard on each other. I think we are a little bit more of a family. Last year we pushed each other but we weren’t as close,” Finnel said. “We are closer. We are really close to the grade below us. So the junior and senior class is like really close so that helps so you can communicate with each other.”

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