Falcon football team opens SBC schedule at Necedah Friday night
With just seven seniors on the roster – two who are just first-year players – the Brookwood High School football team enters its 2017 season with a lack of experience.
But inexperience doesn’t always equate to struggles on the gridiron – especially if your players just happen to posses an ability to learn on the job.
Jeremy Mack is hoping that’s the case for his Falcon football team, which made giant steps in the way of improvement in its first two games.
Brookwood opened with a tough 8-0 loss to De Soto, but rebounded in last week to put a 58-16 thumping of Riverdale in the home opener for the Falcons.
“That first game was a huge learning experience for us. Our line is incredibly young. We have three sophomores starting at the tackles and center,” said Mack.
“The De Soto game was their first time really going up against varsity players, but they figured it out pretty quickly,” he continued. “They realized it was a lot more about technique. I think they figured it out and adjusted quickly.”
Brookwood is coming off a solid 2016 season that saw the Falcon gridders finish with a 4-6 overall record and a 3-3 mark in Scenic Bluffs Conference play to earn a Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Division 6 playoff berth.
Letter winners returning from last year’s playoff team include seniors Ben DeWitt, Connor Schueller, Brayden Leis and Tristan Watters, along with juniors Aaron Dwyer and Tanner Rynes.
DeWitt and Schueller both rushed for more than 100 yards in Brookwood’s victory over Riverdale and Mack expects that trend to continue throughout the season.
“We have a very good running game with Ben and Connor,” offered Mack.
“They are both good size (Schueller weighs 215 pounds and DeWitt is 185 pounds) and they are dedicated to the weight room. They are powerful, downhill runners,” he continued. “And (junior quarterback) Jack Mulvaney has a live arm and he’s pretty accurate. He has one of the more gifted throwing arms in the conference.”
That two-dimensional offense will certainly be a strength for the Falcons as they begin play in the SBC Friday night.
“But with every strength comes a weakness, and Mack believes inexperience is something his team will have to deal with from time to time.
“Our experience is a huge thing,” he said.
“We’re going with just 11 juniors and seniors – two who have never played before this year,” Mack continued. “Experience is something we’re very much lacking.”
Mack said he will look to his upperclassmen to lead the youngsters in the right direction and help them gain experience along the way.
“I think, honestly, the leadership we have is awesome,” he said. “They are constantly in our young guys’ ears and the do a good job promoting confidence, helping out and encouraging them.”
In spite of Brookwood’s lack of experience, Mack believes his team will be competitive this season.
“Our only measurable goal is that we want to be in a position to each a playoff berth. That’s the beauty of high school football – you have to earn a spot in the playoffs,” he said.
“We want to bust our butts every week to be in a spot to compete for a playoff berth,” Mack added. “We want to be competitive in every game. Win or lose, we want to be competitive.”
Mack said Bangor, which has won 26 straight regular-season games and the last three SBC championships, is the team to beat in the conference this season.
After that, he expects Royall, New Lisbon and Necedah to be tough, but he feels the Falcons will fit somewhere in that mix as well.
“We hope to be in amongst the teams battling for those top spots in the conference,” concluded Mack.
Brookwood opens its 2017 Scenic Bluffs Conference campaign Friday night, when they Falcons travel to Necedah to take on the Cardinals in a 7 p.m. game.