OMRO – Spencer Potratz is sick of finishing second.
Potratz and the Omro football team have finished runner-up in the Flyway Conference each of the last two years behind powerhouse St. Mary’s Springs and Potratz, the Foxes’ senior quarterback, has had enough.
“We’re winning conference,” Potratz said.
His statement was bold, but wasn’t farfetched. The Foxes have arguably the strongest team since Potratz took over the reigns at quarterback his sophomore year, and they return 11 all-conference players from a year ago.
So winning a conference title over the Ledgers could be a real possibility. Omro last won the title in 2010.
“We have 22 seniors and our experience definitely helps out there and all of the younger kids have people to look up to, people who have been here for three years and we have plenty of starters coming back,” Potratz said.
Omro is coming off a huge win over Winneconne in the China Bull game, edging the Wolves 14-6 in a wet and sloppy contest. It was a much needed win for the Foxes, who were beat 45-7 against Amherst, the No. 2 team in the state in the medium division, in week one.
“I think we are only going up for sure, that first game of the year was upsetting but after that second game we really kicked it into higher gear,” Potratz said.
While that loss may look bad on Omro’s resume, Amherst is one of the state’s best teams and Potratz knows that it will only benefit them in the long run. Amherst recently beat the Ledgers, the No. 2 team in the state in the small division, 39-14 last Friday.
“I think that coach scheduled that tough nonconference schedule to give us some challenges,” Potratz said. “When we get to the postseason there will be teams just like that.”
Potratz, who earned honorable mention last season, leads the Foxes with 95 yards rushing and has 84 yards passing through two games. His numbers might be lower than what he wanted through the first two games, but he’s far less worried about his stats as long as the team is racking up wins.
The senior rushed for over 1,000 yards with 16 touchdowns while passing for over 1,000 yards with eight touchdowns combined in his sophomore and junior seasons.
It’s no easy task for any player to take control of a team as a sophomore, especially at the quarterback position, but Potratz thrived at it.
“Spencer is one of the hardest working kids, he is a 3-sport athlete, a leader who has started since his sophomore year so that tells you right there about his leadership abilities to command the huddle being a sophomore with upperclassmen,” Omro football coach Dave Wellhoefer said.
One thing Wellhoefer really likes about Potratz is his toughness. Whether he takes a big hit or makes a mistake, he is always getting back up or moving on from the play.
“First of all he’s tough,” Wellhoefer said. “Being an option quarterback you’re going to take some hits and he takes them and dishes them out. His decision making abilities at times, he has his good games and his bad games and with the option you have to be resilient and you have to be able to come back.
“You have to put it away and move past to the next series, play or game. That’s the biggest thing for any quarterback … He’s one of those kids that can make a mistake here and there and then fight through it and put it aside and keep working.”
Potratz also plays basketball in the winter and competed in baseball for two years before making the switch to track and field last year.
As a member of the Foxes basketball team, Potratz averaged 4.8 points and 3.1 rebounds a season ago while averaging 5.2 points per game his sophomore year.
Potratz was also a part of the 400-relay team that made it to state last spring.
Potratz is still undecided on his plans for next year, but said he is waiting to see if any school offers him a scholarship because he’d love to continue to play football at the next level.
Alex Wolf: (920) 426-6661; email@example.com; on Twitter @Wolfa07