Bonduel football preview

<p>Bonduel was an undefeated powerhouse a season ago until a loss to Colby in the state semifinal ended the Bears&rsquo; quest for a first-ever state title game appearance.</p> <p>For senior guard/linebacker Taylor Kelley, and most of the returning players, coming up one game short is motivation for this season.</p> <p>&ldquo;We have a chance to repeat,&rdquo; Kelley said. &ldquo;Get farther. Get down to Madison. That&rsquo;s our goal.&rdquo;</p> <p>That could be a tough task for the Bears.</p> <p>Nineteen players are gone from that 12-1 Central Wisconsin-8 conference championship team, a lot of them skill players.</p> <p>A season ago, running back Ben Tauchen, the team&rsquo;s leading rushing threat, put up 1,610 yards rushing, 232 yards receiving and had 29 touchdowns. Running backs Cullin Kowalczyk and Zach Wallace, who combined for 1,438 yards and 22 touchdowns, are gone as well.</p> <p>All three also were major contributors on the Bears&rsquo; defense.</p> <p>&ldquo;We lost a lot of talent last year,&rdquo; Bonduel coach James Westrich said.</p> <p>Westrich hopes some of the 13 letter winners returning will provide leadership for the team this year. That group includes Kelley, offensive/defensive tackle Drew Wudtke, guard/defensive end Skylor Heindel and tight end/defensive end Joel Gehler, who together will provide the Bears&rsquo; with maturity and experience up front.</p> <p>&ldquo;I would definitely say going in, our line is the most veteran section of our football team right now,&rdquo; Westrich said. &ldquo;And hopefully we can fill in some good talent behind them.&rdquo;</p> <p>Westrich says he will depend on those seniors to make good calls and execute.</p> <p>Wudtke, Kelley and Heindel think their coach is right to place his trust in them.</p> <p>&ldquo;Pretty solid,&rdquo; was Wudtke&rsquo;s assessment of the line after the first few team practices. &ldquo;We had a lot of guys who got a lot of playing time last year and we got ahead.&rdquo;</p> <p>In contrast with the line, Bonduel&rsquo;s running backs and receiving corps haven&rsquo;t had a whole lot of playing time.</p> <p>Bonduel has four running backs on the roster: seniors Edgar Santana, Tyler Vanderlinden, Nick Schultz and Austin Henn. Only Vanderlinden and Schultz had carries a season ago.</p> <p>Vanderlinden went 139 yards on 14 carries for a per rush average of 9.9 yards. Shultz had only 4 carries for 27 yards.</p> <p>Brandon Robaidek &mdash; who led Bonduel receivers with 17 receptions, 441 yards and six touchdowns &mdash; will be replaced by seniors Nathan Doell and Kyle Schneider.</p> <p>Returning as the starting quarterback is senior Spencer Froemming, who had 1,144 yards passing, 15 touchdowns and connected on 55.1 percent of his passes last season. He also had 33 rushes for 236 yards and five touchdowns.</p> <p>&ldquo;We have a lot of young guys, a lot of talent&rdquo; Kelley said. &ldquo;We just have to figure out how to use that talent.&rdquo;</p> <p>Those young players will have a couple nonconference games to prove themselves before the hunt for a conference repeat begins. Bonduel opens the season with nonconference foes Crivitz at home on Aug. 19 and Peshtigo in Peshtigo on Aug. 26. The Bears begin the conference season Sept. 2 at Wittenberg-Birnamwood.</p>

By: 
Gerrard Diaz
Subhead: 
Bears want another crack at state
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