This is the third in a series of camp reports on local teams over the opening week of the prep football season.
EDGAR – How did the Edgar football team deal with a painful loss to Darlington in a WIAA Division 6 state semifinal matchup last fall?
Some Wildcats went back to work just hours after falling to Darlington 21-20 as a two-point conversion in the closing seconds was unsuccessful. The loss was the first of the season for Edgar after 12 straight wins.
“The next day a couple of us went in the weight room right away and were kind of focused on next year already,” Wildcats senior Matt Urmanski said Thursday. “I have been thinking about next year since the day after Darlington.”
Coming so close to the program’s 11th state championship appearance has provided motivation for the Wildcats this fall.
“When something like that happens it is tough and it definitely gives you extra motivation,” said Urmanski, who is the Wildcats starting quarterback and also is making the move from defensive end to outside linebacker this fall. “You can think about that when you’re lifting or it’s 5:30 (a.m.) and you’re going in to work out before school — it helps you get out of bed and give you a reason to go in there.”
The Wildcats return just eight starters from last year’s 12-1 team but it is a productive core.
“We have our leading rusher, our leading scorer, our leading passer and receiver and our leading defensive player back,” Wildcats coach Jerry Sinz said. “We also have our best offensive lineman back.
The question is if the this group can match the success of last year’s team.
“The (seniors) last year I would characterize as overachievers,” Sinz said. “As-eighth graders they were average and probably didn’t win half their games. As ninth-graders, I don’t think they won half their games, and maybe as JV players they won half. Then as seniors to win 12 in a row and get beat by a point in a state semifinal, well, that was something.
“But they worked together hard and were good listeners They were no-ego-type guys,” Sinz added. “Everyone was team-oriented, and hopefully the guys from this year’s team learned from them.”
Three-week Marawood Conference test
The Wildcats won the Marawood Conference with a 7-0 mark last year, and face two of the biggest conference challengers — Stratford and Marathon — over a three-week period beginning Sept. 18 at Stratford.
“Marathon is going to be good. They have 20-some seniors this year and a lot of guys they have back started last year,” Sinz said. “Then Stratford is big — really big. They have a number of guys who in around 300 (pounds) — guys who are 290, 280 and 270. Just a lot of big guys. We’re going to have to be faster than them or they are just going to try and beat us up.
Sandwiched between those two games is a road matchup at Tomahawk that presents a challenge at skilled positions.
“They got two guys who were state wrestlers in the quarterback (Kaleb Kaminski) and the running back (Dane) Borchardt,” Sinz said. “Just two big guys that are athletic as well.”
—Tim Johnson can be reached at 715-845-0731 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find him on Twitter @timmyjo11
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