Posted 8/26/09 (Wed)
By Neal A. Shipman
The start of the 2009 football season will see some big changes for the Watford City Wolves, the defending Class AA champions.
The biggest and most noticeable change will be that due to realignment of high school football in North Dakota, the Wolves dropped down one class to Class A. And that change will see the Wolves taking on many new teams.
Competing against the Wolves in Region 4 will be Bowman County, Grant County/Flasher, Hazen, Heart River, Killdeer, New Salem/Glen Ullin and Standing Rock.
The 2009 Watford City Wolves will open their season at Stanley on Friday night at 7:00 p.m. and Fred Fridley, Wolves head coach is very optimistic about this year’s team.
“We lost a great deal of our starters, so we lack experience,” states Fridley. “But the quality of players we have is very good.”
According to Fridley, the team strengths appear to be in the backfield with quickness and experience.
“Our depth will be a key on how well we do,” states Fridley. “We have a lot of players that will play and help our football team. Our young players need to come in and give us some quality playing time. Also our special teams will be strong with our return teams that can make big plays for the Wolves with the quickness they have.”
While Fridley knows that this year’s team has the ability to score touchdowns, he points to a couple of areas that will need improvement.
“One area we need to improve on is the offensive line play,” stated Fridley. “Another area is our linebacking where we graduated all of our linebackers. If we want to be a playoff team these two areas will be a key.”
The Wolves will see a new quarterback this year in junior Trey Jacobson and, according to Fridley, he has been running the offense and throwing the ball very well in preseason.
“Jacobson’s receivers have quickness and can choose from Nick Liebel, Tyler Flatland, Adam Brenna Chans Brown, Sterling Ross and Shawn Fulwider,” states Fridley. “We feel we can spread the ball around with a balanced attack with our running backs Derek Thompson, Brady Lund, Nolan Kalberer and Kalin Mogen. Any of them can make big plays for us this season.”
Watford City’s offensive line has not yet been determined, but Fridley anticipates giving a lot of players a chance to play early on in the season.
“With the players we have, I anticipate us making the playoffs and being in the upper half of our region,” states Fridley. “The players have been working hard and have shown a great attitude, which is one of the keys of success.”