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Improved attitude will guide the Bay

August 25, 2010 | 08:37 AM
Williams Bay — After losing 19 consecutive games, it would be difficult for a coach to have hope for a winning season. With such as aura of negativity, it would be hard to be positive about anything.

But that isn't the case for Williams Bay head football coach Buddy Breen. The third-year coach sees something in this year's varsity team.

"I'm cautiously optimistic about the season," Breen said. "The attitude is the biggest difference from last year, no question. It is by far the best attitude among players since I've been head coach."

Along with the losing streak, the Bulldogs lost their leading rusher from last year, Evan Beyers, who was one of few bright spots. Beyers rushed for 321 yards, good enough for a 5.5 yard-per-carry average.

However, no worries for the Bay. Transfer student Josh Hills, a junior, will be the featured running back, and Breen said Hills has potential.

"Josh is a very fast and tough running back," Breen said. "He can play running back, cornerback and linebacker."

The Bay lost 12 seniors, but plenty players return, most of whom formed a good core unit on the junior varsity squad, a team that posted a winning record last year.

That core, according to Breen, includes Deacon Boggs, Jorge Huerta, Christian Kolmos, Jon Feedar-Thomas, Jake Sutter and Marcos Quiles. Crement played quarterback as a freshman but tried soccer as a sophomore. Now, as a junior, Breen is moving him to tight end.

"He's back," Breen said of Crement. "He's a big, tough guy."

Breen believes the positive attitude will translate to the field under the Friday night lights.

"I think it will move on to the field," he said. "We are crisper, more focused and more systematic. We have blended the offense with some old plays, taking the best of both and mixing them together. The guys are striving on that. With our improved team speed, we hope to attack the outside with quite a bit of speed on the line and in the backfield."

Breen added that the first two games, both nonconference affairs, will be huge for the team.

"We are trying to set the tone with these games," he said. "I think we have a chance to win both. Cambria-Friesland and Rio should be the conference favorites, but if we can win a couple games early, it could be a successful season."

A different team

Other returners include Brock Baumbach, Austin Bierdek, Jeremy Wellhausen, Michael Roth, Bryce Budleski and Karl Rivers.

"As a team, we're a lot more disciplined as a whole," the senior Baumbach said. "In the offseason, there was a lot of hard work. We had a training camp, and we all looked really good."

Rivers, another one of only three seniors, said the atmosphere around the team is very positive.

"The last two years, people would give up in the middle of games," he said. "I personally guarantee we will win a game."

Sutter, a sophomore who will start at quarterback, is hoping to bring leadership.

"I'm a passer and a leader," he said. "I'll make sure nobody is getting down on each other."

Furthermore, Rivers, who will start on the offensive and defensive lines, said he has been in the weight room for two years straight.

"I only weigh 154 pounds, so I must rely on my speed," Rivers said. "But don't take me lightly, I have power."

Rivers also hopes to lead. He aspires to be the team MVP or the Most Improved Player. Sutter said he wants to bring everything to the table to help bring the Bay some wins.

"I'm just playing the game," Sutter said. "Over the years, we haven't had much of a passing game. This year, I have some targets. Wellhausen has great hands, and so does Hills. And Jake Sturgess will step up and be a good player. I don't worry about the pressure of being a first-time starter at varsity. I'm sure once we start playing games, it will get a little more real."

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