By William for http://www.mcpherson-county-ks.com
MOUNDRIDGE – Looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2021 season, the Moundridge football team will do so in 2022 under the leadership of a new coach.
After being with the district and football program for 20 years, Bret Lange is now getting his first opportunity to lead the Wildcat football program toward more success after finishing just 3-6 in 2021, finishing fourth in the Heart of America League and losing in the playoffs to LaCrosse. He will be assisted by Courtney Moddelmog and DaWayne Stos.
Coach Lange is anticipating a roster of 25-30 players with four of those being returning offensive starters and five being returning defensive starters. The Wildcats will again compete in 8-Man Division I with their district being loaded with schools like Solomon, Goessel, Herrington, Pretty Prairie and of course pre-season number one ranked Little River.
“We will be a young football team this season,” pointed out coach Lange. “Many of the players on the roster will be sophomores and freshmen, though a few sophomores already have varsity experience from last season which should help with the development of the team. We will be short on the number of juniors and seniors, but most that we do have return with varsity time and experience. Their leadership will be vital for our younger kids as we grow as a team this season.”
Offensively the Wildcats will be running out of the spread offensive. Coach Lange explained that they will return two key players to anchor the line in seniors Banky Hayes and Caleb Ward. Both started and played significant minutes last season.
Speaking more of the offense, Lange noted, “We have good experience coming back at the skilled positions, led by Henry Hecox who returns as our full-time quarterback after having an outstanding freshman season in 2021. Logan Churchill is also returning as one of our top receivers last season, and we are expecting both players to provide solid leadership for the 2022 team.”
On defense, Moundridge will use a base 4-2-2 with the team’s top goals for 2022 being to improve significantly as a defensive unit. The coaches noted that among the strengths of the defense will be linebacker where the Wildcats return both starters in sophomore Barrett Moddelmog and junior Joaquin Huff.
Coach Lange concluded his pre-season reflections by saying, “We also have three returning players that had significant time on the defensive line last year but our secondary will be young though we expect them to develop during the season. If we want a successful season our tackling and pursuit to the ball must be better than it was in 2021.”
The Wildcats will open the 2022 season on Friday, September 2 hosting Ell-Saline.
2022 WILDCAT PLAYERS TO WATCH:
- Logan Churchill, senior, 6’6”, 180 lbs. WR/DE
- Banky Hayes, senior, 6’0”, 190 lbs. OL/DL
- Caleb Ward, senior, 6’1”, 225 lbs. OL/DL
- Joaquin Huff, junior, 5’10”, 205 lbs. RB/LB
- Barrett Moddelmog, sophomore, 6’3”, 185 lbs. TE/DE-LB
- Henry Hecox, sophomore, 6’2”, 185 lbs. QB/LB
- Kaden Elmore, sophomore, 6’1”, 155 lbs. RB/DB
2022 MOUNDRIDGE WILDCAT FOOTBALL SCHEDULE:
(* – District game, # – League Game)
> Friday, September 2 – Host Ell-Saline (#)
> Friday, September 9 – At Bennington (#)
> Friday, September 16 – Host Wichita Independent
> Friday, September 23 – At Pretty Prairie (*)
> Friday, September 30 – Host Little River for homecoming (*)
> Friday, October 7 – At Solomon (*)
> Friday, October 14 – At Goessel (*)
> Friday, October 21 – Host Herington (*)
(William is a free-lance writer covering McPherson County Activities – he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)