Experience gives Muskego football team plenty of reason for optimism
Warriors confident about 2014 campaign
After a rare losing season in 2013, the Muskego football team seems poised to bounce back in a big way this year.
"We are guardedly optimistic," said head coach Ken Krause. "We have a ton of experience. At 15 of 22 spots, we have kids who started at least some of the time last year.
"We had a great off-season, too. This team could be as strong as any team I've had at Muskego in seven seasons."
Krause said only seven starters graduated, while three sophomores and one freshman started and will be back with a valuable year of experience.
In addition, the Muskego junior varsity squad went 8-1, giving the Warriors even more potential talent.
"The attitude at practice has been awesome," Krause continued. "We're having a great time coaching these kids. They have a positive vibe."
Schweitzer, Wagner battle
Senior Jeff Schweitzer, 6 feet and 215 pounds, is back at quarterback, although he is being pushed in practice by junior Caleb Wagner (6-0, 170), the starter on that successful JV squad.
"Schweitzer has a great arm and was named the most valuable player at two quarterback combines this summer," Krause said. "Wagner is a super-cerebral player, like a coach on the field. Jeff, being the returning varsity starter, is the front-runner."
The quarterback will operate behind an offensive line with four returning starters in senior guard Evan Borchardt (6-1, 210), senior guard Baili Leszczynski (5-11, 220), senior tackle Sam King (6-3, 285) and senior center Kai Pham (6-2, 260).
Leszczynski earned honorable-mention all-Classic 8 Conference last year, while Pham broke the school power-clean weightlifting record at 290 pounds this year.
Leading the rushing attack are junior Brett Finke (6-0, 215) and senior Ryan Borton (6-0, 200), a conference champion in wrestling.
The defense features eight returning starters. At linebacker are Finke, Borton and junior Austin Lambrecht (6-1, 205), who earned all-conference honorable mention.
Defensive linemen include junior Sam White (6-3, 237), sophomore Jorin McGuire (6-3, 290) and senior Alex Hauke (6-4, 280), a three-year starter and honorable-mention selection.
Senior safety Brandon Valenza (6-3, 180) is a three-year starter and honorable-mention choice, and senior Brandon Glandt (6-3, 185) is another returnee.
Lines are large
"Our offensive and defensive lines are big and strong," Krause said, "and we have good linebackers."
Once again, though, Muskego will have the deal with the brutal Classic 8 Conference, which includes defending WIAA Division 1 champion Arrowhead, as well as Catholic Memorial, Mukwonago and Waukesha South.
"Without a doubt, it is the best high school conference in the state," Krause said.
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