Posted 8/24/11 (Wed)
By Neal A. Shipman
Graduation took a heavy toll on Fred Fridley’s Watford City Wolves football program.
With only one returning starter back from last year’s team, Fridley knows that this is going to be a challenging year.
But for any coach who has ever faced a Watford City football team, they know that even when it looks like the Wolves will be having a down year, Fridley has always been able to produce winning teams.
And that is just what Fridley is expecting from this year’s group of young and inexperienced players.
“We lost all but one starter on both sides of the ball,” states Fridley. “So it is going to be a rebuilding year as we will be young and inexperienced.”
The lone returning starter is Shawn Fulwider who played both offensively and defensively for the Wolves last season as a tight end on offense, as well as on the defensive line.
“We have 54 players out this year and that is very good for our program,” says Fridley. “And we have some size in the line and that should be our strength.”
According to Fridley, Lucas Nicholson will be the starting quarterback with Corey Jones, Clay Billing, Josh Johnson, Austin Garmann, and Jayden Grotte vying for running back positions.
And with so many underclassmen filling out Fridley’s starting roster, he says that the players will need to improve in practice and in their early season action.
“If we can make the improvements in practice and in our games by the end of the season, we hope to make the playoffs,” states Fridley.
The first test for Fridley and his Wolves will be on Friday, Aug. 26 when Watford City travels to Belfield to take on the Heart River Cougars in a non-conference game. Game time is set for 8 p.m. CST.
“Heart River will be a playoff team from Region IV, so we will get a good indication of what type of team we are and where improvements are needed,” states Fridley.