The Waconia football team and new head coach Sam Baker began the 2013 season at Annandale last week, losing to the 2012 state qualifying Cardinals in a 41-26 game.
Baker said with a lot of athletes making varsity debuts and the first game of the new coaching strategies, the game went how he’d expected.
“All of our kids played hard,” he said. “I was very, very pleased, we fought all the way to the end.”
Annandale put up 13 points in the first quarter to an empty Wildcat scoreboard. Roles reversed in the second, when Waconia was the team with 13 points and Annandale was left in the cold.
Junior Mason Hemze started the Wildcats’ scoring with a two-yard touchdown run. Later in the quarter, junior Nathan Glynn would score his first touchdown of the season on a four-yard run. With a successful extra point attempt from senior Charlie Spurbeck, the ‘Cats were tied with the Cardinals 13-13 at halftime.
Annandale posted 13 points in the third quarter before the ‘Cats responded with a one-yard touchdown run by Glynn.
Hemze had his second touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter, a four-yard run sandwiched between two Annandale touchdowns.
For the game, Hemze totaled 102 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries. Glynn had six carries for 25 yards and two touchdowns.
Junior Royce Marker was the team’s leading receiver with four receptions for 97 yards. Junior quarterback Shannon Storley was 8-12 for 116 yards.
Seniors Nick Hukriede and Cole Sawyer led the team in tackles, with 12 and eight, respectively. Junior Lucas Zimmer grabbed an interception during the game and returned it 85 yards.
Sawyer and senior Charles Frempong-Longdon each had a sack on the Annandale quarterback, while Frempong-Longdon also logged a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
Baker said the first game taught the team a lot about how to prepare and what needs to become a focus during practice.
“The kids really understood where they needed to improve and why,” he said. “We’re going to treat every practice like a game day … do whatever we need to do to simulate game day.”
The Wildcats host their opener tomorrow night, Sept. 6, against New London-Spicer in what Baker said should be a physical game.
“I hope we improve in all those areas that need it and that we come out with great intensity and be much more physical,” he said.
Remember to join the Wildcats in their first ever Wildcat Walk, which begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Unhinged! Pizza parking lot and will move down 1st Street South to the stadium.
The team will marched to the stadium with the streets lined by fans, parents, and community members. As the team passes, spectators are encouraged to join the march. There will be food vendors at the stadium beginning at 5:30. The game begins at 7 p.m.
Baker said the Waconia fan support at the Annandale game was great and he hopes to continue it this week.
“We would like to create a tremendous home advantage,” he said, “so we need super loud fans of all ages.”
Contact Melissa Marohl at firstname.lastname@example.org