Fresh faces fill familiar scheme

2019 Mount Ida Lions Football Team

Fresh faces and players playing multiple positions should make it hard for opponents to prepare for the Mount Ida Lions this year.
New head coach Zack Wuichet is excited to get his players on the field Friday night for the beginning of the 2019 football season. He takes over for Mike White who had moved into administration at Mount Ida as the new superintendent.
Tad Kesterson will return as an assistant coach for the Lions with Trip Rowton joining the staff this year.
The Lions will feature a host of new faces. Many of the teams starters haven’t seen action since junior high, but they are bringing a high level of enthusiasm to the field.
Senior Hunter Davis will be the offensive workhorse this year, with Coach Wuichet expecting to call his number a lot this year. Davis is an elusive running back who runs hard downfield
Sophomore Baylor Bates moves up to help out as a running back as well.
John Hoeksema has worked his way into the starting quarterback position. What he lacks in experience at the position he makes up for with his athleticism. Wuichet admitted that Hoeksema didn’t always call the right play in the huddle in a recent scrimmage, but is confident he will be ready come week one.
Austin Cooper will take snaps under center as well. Wuichet stated that the two will swap out depending on the need. Both can move in the backfield and pass in space.
“It’s gonna make it hard to scheme for us because there’s no rhyme or reason to what we’re doing.” he joked.
AJ Perez provided some great runs at the Bismarck scrimmage and will be a likely starter at slot back. Although Mount Ida isn’t known for their passing game, Perez gives them an option with the bubble screen.
As with previous years, success depends on the strength of the offensive line. Unfortunately, this could be the biggest uncertainty with the Lions this year. Wuichet is confident players will step up and fill each spot.
Hunter “Grizzly” Humphries brings the most experience to the line at right tackle. Expect to see Hunter Davis running behind Grizzly a lot on Friday night. Blake Collum will line up at right guard. Wuichet stated that Collum could be the strongest lineman this year.
Connor Sigman and Silas Love will share time at left guard. Sigman is the smaller player, but knows the playbook inside and out. Love looks more like a lineman, but will need to grow into the position.
Nate Sommerkorn and Silas Love will share time at center. Wuichet stated that both can handle a snap well. Need at guard and tackle will dictate who snaps the ball.
Seth Breashears, Gavin Summitt and Ian McDowell will all see time at tight end. McDowell will also be used as a split end.
Merlin Vande Weyer, an exchange student from Belguim, will take over kicking duties. A background in rugby gives him a toughness that Wuichet hopes to use on offense as the season progresses.
“He’s our secret weapon if I can talk myself into putting our kicker in harm’s way.” Wuichet said.
Defensively, Hunter Humphries and Bryce Ragsdale will start at tackle. Each should be able to plug two or three holes which will force teams to double team them. This will open up the middle for Hunter Davis and John Hoeksema who will start at inside linebacker.
Bour and Blake Collum are probable starters at defensive end. Wuichet stated that each lacks experience but brings long bodies to the edge of the defense with great eyes for getting to the ball. Mason Ballard returns after a couple years focusing on basketball to play at defensive end as well.
Sigman Connor and Baylor Bates line up at outside linebacker.
The secondary continues to develop with Gavin Summitt looking to be a cornerback, along with Austin Cooper. Landon Scrimshire will also see time there. AJ Perez looks to start at safety. Wuichet explained that his speed allows him to cover well from the middle of the field.
Seth Breashears will handle punting for the Lions. While he doesn’t punt for great distance, he provides amazing hang time. Wuichet expects him to be able to flip the field when needed. Breashears will also see time at defensive end.

Read More