Football preview 2015: Williamston Hornets

Football preview 2015: Williamston Hornets

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Football preview 2015: Williamston Hornets

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Senior receiver Montana Reagan, 11, will be one of five returning starters on offense for Williamston in 2015.

Senior receiver Montana Reagan, 11, will be one of five returning starters on offense for Williamston in 2015.

Steve Kersten

Steve Kersten

LAST YEAR

7-3 overall, 4-1 CAAC White (2nd)

2015 SCHEDULE (last year’s score)

Aug. 28Eastern, 7 p.m. (W 53-6)

Sept. 3at Holly, 7 p.m. (W 26-7)

Sept. 11Lansing Catholic, 7 p.m. (L 50-14)

Sept. 18Ionia, 7 p.m. (W 34-12)

Sept. 25at Eaton Rapids, 7 p.m. (W 32-13)

Oct. 2Fowlerville, 7 p.m. (W 42-0)

Oct. 9at Portland, 7 p.m. (W 27-21)

Oct. 16Haslett, 7 p.m. (L 43-23)

Oct. 23at Lake Fenton, 7 p.m. (W 34-20)

COACH

Steve Kersten

Age: 45

Playing experience: Richland Gull Lake 1984-87, Taylor University (Ind.) 1988-92

Head coaching experience: Williamston 2001-present

Career record: 85-53

Full-time job: Williamston High math and technology teacher

Assistant coaches: Jeff Lynch, Tim Stiffler, Danny Kangas, Mike Douglas, Eric Goss, Brandon Hall, Tom Selinger

FOURCAST

REPLACING PLAYMAKERS

After a successful 2014 season, Williamston will enter the new year with some uncertainty. The Hornets lost several playmakers to graduation including dual-threat quarterback Chaz Moore, wide receiver Stone Chase and running back Hayden Toone — all of which earned all-area honors. Junior Jake Westphal, who saw some time last season, will get the nod at quarterback. He’ll be joined by senior receivers Danny Ostrander and Montana Reagan. Senior Will Kube-Mele will get the bulk of the carries in place of Toone. Coach Steve Kersten believes his team has many capable players and is anxious to see who steps up.

LARGE AND IN CHARGE

Westphal will have some size in front of him in his first year as the starting quarterback. Williamston’s offensive line will average nearly 250 pounds and will return two starters in Robbie Grooms and John Hull. While the Hornets’ line lost 2014 Dream Team member Austin Oakley to graduation, Kersten says his front five is a smart and tight-knit group.

YOUNG DEFENSE

Williamston returns one defensive starter in 2015. Senior Jacob Christie will anchor a linebacker corps that Kersten believes is the strength of his defense. The departures of Moore, who also played defensive back, Toone, a former linebacker, and honorable mention all-area defensive lineman Meshach Tompkins leave the Hornets with little experience defensively. Kersten says his defense “will need to improve daily” with inexperience in the secondary and on the line.

KEEPING UP SUCCESS

Everything seemed to come together for Williamston last season. A mix of playmakers and veteran leadership led the Hornets to a second-place finish in the CAAC White. And with the majority of those players gone, it will be intriguing to see who steps up in 2015. While Williamston will put several new players into the starting lineup, this inexperienced group has seen what it takes to compete at a high level.

ROSTER

1 Eric CateWR/DBsr.

2 Patrick DickersonWR/LBsr.

3 Blair JohnsonWR/DBsr.

4 Jared ArnettWR/LBsr.

5 Quintin LopezWR/DLjr.

6 Michael WalterWR/DBjr.

7 Dan OStranderWR/DBsr.

8 Jake WestphalQB/DBsr.

9 Joey ElenbaasQB/DBjr.

10 Logan FenechWR/DBjr.

11 Montana ReaganWR/DBsr.

12 Frankie ToomeyWR/DBso.

15 Cole BergQB/LBjr.

21 Ben MerandaWR/DBjr.

24 Sam VitaleWR/DBjr.

25 Brett SturgisTE/LBsr.

30 Cody HayseWR/DBjr.

33 Will Kube-MeleRB/DBsr.

35 Jacob ChristieRB/LBsr.

40 Josh WilsonRB/LBjr.

42 Tommy DutcherWR/DBjr.

44 Brandon PollandRB/LBjr.

50 Maverick TompkinsOL/DLsr.

55 Justin BloomOL/DLjr.

56 Blake MonroeOL/DLjr.

58 Taylor MangualOL/LBsr.

59 John HullOL/DLsr.

60 RJ PageOL/DLsr.

66 Griffin GaffnerOL/LBsr.

68 Robbie GroomsOL/DLsr.

70 Liam DanielsOL/DLjr.

72 Zack RyderOL/DLsr.

76 Maddox MakiOL/DLsr.

77 Matt DiamondOL/DLsr.

78 Stone SchaferOL/DLjr.

79 John PartridgeOL/DLjr.

80 Drew SmithTE/LBsr.

86 Bryce RollinTE/LBjr.

RETURNING STARTERS (5 on offense, 1 on defense)

OFFENSE

Danny Ostrander WR

Montana Reagan WR

Robbie Grooms OL

John Hull OL

Will Kube-Mele RB

DEFENSE

Jacob Christie LB

OTHER CONTRIBUTORS

OFFENSE

Taylor Mangual OL

Griffen Gaffner OL

Maddox Maki OL

Michael Walter WR

Jake Westphal QB

Brett Sturgis TE

DEFENSE

Taylor Mangual LB

Jared Arnett LB

Will Kube-Mele DB

Danny Ostrander DB

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