Washington Warriors Entering Season Looking to Surprise
Chad Stadem's Washington Warriors return multiple starters from last season and have a lot of depth on the roster. They're looking to surprise people in 2015.
This is the third year for Stadem as the head coach of the Warriors. When Stadem came to Washington, he kept the system and status quo from the previous reign of Brian Hermanson. Washington finished 3-6. Last year, Stadem implemented his system, and it resulted in a 3-6 finish again. The difference heading into this year is that the athletes know the system and it's about executing the plays.
"We've moved right along pretty quickly. More guys understand the system now, and change takes some time. Now guys have stepped into it and it's gone faster and smoother. It's clicking along for everyone." - Chad Stadem
Quarterback Jack Schelhaas, running back Chayden Fitzsimmons, wide receiver Logan Eckhoff, and a returning offensive line led by Matt Farnoik are all back for the Warriors heading into this season on offense. Add in on defense Joey Wehrkamp, Michael Enalls, and Jack Bren, and it's quick to see how many athletes have received playing time over the last couple of years. Stadem says that the playing time has helped the program.
"We've got some depth because we played kids last year. That's carried over. They have game experience and that helps a lot. When they step on the field on Friday night, they've been there before. It's really going to pay off for us."
Washington has focused on skill position players during the offseason. Stadem says that they were able to get a couple more athletes on board and have increased options on offense.
"We've added some guys that haven't played football before. We added Carter Keller, who is a basketball player and is very athletic. He has physically made us that much better on the outside. We also moved Ty Smith to the offensive side. That instantly has given us much more of a threat. In one year, we have drastically improved our skilled guys on the outside."
Washington was also able to add a couple of names on the defensive side of the football. Isaiah Feterl has joined the team after a successful track season. The addition of him, plus the development of the defense has made the team much more athletic.
"I think we have gotten faster. We've added Feterl in the backfield, and Schelhaas will play some safety for us. Logan Eckhoff also. Those guys can fly. We are just so much more athletic and faster and I think that will benefit us."
This is a team that has a lot of athletes upcoming that have won a majority of their games on the freshmen and sophomore levels. Stadem says that he expects his roster to be competitive this season.
"This senior class is a good class and we're excited. We're getting to where we feel that we can be really competitive. We feel like we're ready to go again and we have a bunch of young kids. We're going to be playing some sophomores on varsity. We are excited about the future at Washington and excited about this season."
The Warriors start the season against Brandon Valley at Howard Wood Field on Friday night. Brandon Valley has experienced some roster turnover this year, but Stadem says that their coaching staff is among the most dangerous in the state.
"I think they're the most talented coaching staff in the state. This crew has a great grip on what they're doing and you don't ever really know what you're going to get when you play them. They're always competitive and ready, and have always produced great quarterbacks. We know it will be a battle."
As for the rest of the outlook of the season and Class 11AAA, Stadem says that the competition should be about equal across the board leading to a fun year.
"I think the conference is pretty level. Nobody is really heads and tails better than everyone else. Last couple of years it's been Lincoln who has been the better team over everyone. They've been kind of the top dog with Roosevelt right behind them. I think this year, it's leveled off. There might be a better team here-and-there but injuries could make a difference. It's going to be competitive."
The Warriors will play their first four games of the season, and seven of nine overall, at Howard Wood Field.