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Redskins still learning as Elida awaits them

September 12, 2013

Wapakoneta Redskins senior offensive lineman Kyle Gonterman (66), left, makes a block Friday in a Western Buckeye League varsity football game against the Kenton Wildcats at Harmon Field. Kenton won the game, 56-12. (Staff photo/William Laney)

Sports Editor

Wapakoneta varsity football coach Doug Frye was tempted to throw away the game film from last Friday against Kenton but he couldn’t follow through on it.

“Even though I did think about throwing that film away, we’re a young enough football team that we need every opportunity to learn,” Frye said.

The Redskins are now 1-1 overall and 0-1 in the Western Buckeye League after a 52-16 loss to the Kenton Wildcats last Friday at Harmon Field, a game in which Kenton’s offense rolled to 52 points through three quarters.

Wapak’s starting offense was shut out in its three quarters on the field, while all 16 of Wapak’s points came in the fourth quarter while both teams’ reserves were playing.

The Redskins now face their third of three opponents, the Elida Bulldogs, whom Frye collectively called the toughest opening schedule he has experienced in his 16 years associated with the WBL.

Elida, like Wapak, is 1-1 overall and 0-1 in the WBL.

The Bulldogs blanked the St. John’s Blue Jays, 20-0, in Week 1 before losing to the Defiance Bulldogs by one, 28-27, in overtime last Friday.

Elida was last season’s runner-up in the WBL.

In 2007 and 2008, the Bulldogs were winless.

Elida has now made three straight trips to the playoffs under Jason Carpenter.

Frye pinpointed the highlights of Elida’s defense: senior defensive tackle Chance Weitz, who committed to Bowling Green State University in May, and senior linebacker Keanu James, who transferred from Bath High School.

“That’s what jumps out at you right away,” Frye said about Elida’s defense. “There’s two great athletes to start with.

“They’re a well-coached defensive team,” he said. “They run to the ball. They’re a good defensive football team.”

Weitz is Elida’s lone returning All-WBL performer.

Elida will operate from the spread offense, which is the only type of offensive Wapak has faced in preseason and through two games.

“They’re a different spread offense than Kenton, but they do a good job with what they do,” Frye said. “They have a running back in the backfield. They’re effective with the run.

“I think Jason Carpenter does a great job with this offense.”

Logan Alexander is Elida’s quarterback, while Clark Etzler is the Bulldogs’ top receiving threat.

As much as Wapak could be concerned with Elida, the Redskins are most concerned with improving themselves.

“Doing your job,” Frye said. “We’re working on that message. I don’t know if it’s totally sunk in yet.

“You have a job to do. Do your job every play on a consistent basis.”

Always seeking consistency, Frye evaluated how his team is doing with that.

“At times we do a good job,” the Redskin coach said. “Other times we get content, it seems like, or we get too down or too up. Every play is a new play.”

Amid the success Wapak’s reserves had Friday in the fourth quarter, Frye was asked whether those players might step into more pronounced varsity roles.

“This is going to be a constant, changing ship the whole year,” Frye said of the football team. “Of all the years I’ve been here, it’s going to change the most. We want to get kids on the field who play hard.”

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