Putting the pieces in place
Marshfield installs new offense in hopes of improving on 2-7 campaign
By Paul Lecker
MARSHFIELD — The Marshfield High School football team missed the WIAA playoffs for the third-straight season last year after going just 2-7 overall and 1-7 in the Valley Football Association South Division.
However, every August brings optimism to high school football teams everywhere, and the Tigers are no different.
Marshfield will be implementing a new no-huddle offense using some misdirection and spread formations to utilize its skill players’ talent to the fullest. Denny Goettl, entering his eighth year as the Tigers’ head coach, said there will be a number of different running combinations used and many players touching the ball.
Junior Brandt Bohman is the team’s top returning running back after rushing for 392 yards and catching nine passes for 106 yards in 2016. Seniors Andy Goettl and Tyler Spaeth will move into the backfield from the wide receiver spot, and they will be joined by Isaiah Baierl, Caden Pearce, and others. Even starting linebacker Quinton Alexander will see some time in the offensive backfield, Denny Goettl said.
“We’re going to spread them out and bring them back in, so they know all the positions,” Denny Goettl said. “It’s a good chance for people to get a chance to play. We’re not big enough to go toe-to-toe and run the I-formation stuff that we used to, so we’ll have to do some things that others don’t.”
Senior offensive lineman A.J. Leonhardt said he has been impressed with how things were going in preseason camp with the move to the new offense.
“We have a lot of fast guys, a lot of guys that ran fast 40s that are playing running back,” Leonhardt said. “We have four or five guys. We seem really fast right now and have good wide receivers too.”
Alexander, an honorable mention all-conference linebacker last year, anchors a defense that was fairly stout throughout the first half of last season but allowed 155 points in the final five games, which were all losses as the Tigers fell out of playoff contention.
Neil Ott returns to the defensive backfield after being one of the team’s top tacklers a year ago.
Junior Ryan Krueger leads a crop of quarterbacks that includes senior Collin Fravert, junior Will Voss, and sophomores Sam Hinson and Joey Goettl. Krueger took over as the starter midway through last year and threw for 562 yards and seven touchdowns.
Jared Johnsrud, who started last season as Marshfield’s quarterback, has been moved to linebacker.
The quarterbacks will be asked to do a lot, including running the ball and carrying out a number of fakes as the new offense evolves.
“We’re trying to do different offensive things,” Denny Goettl said. “It’s the same philosophy with the plays you run but changing some tempo stuff and trying some things here and there. We’re looking at different types of athletes we have and trying to make the offense around them.
“We moved some kids around, much to their dislike sometimes, but you have to help the team out, and they are doing that. Things have been really positive and upbeat.”
Andy Goettl said the team is coming together well and that improving enough to make a run at the playoffs this year comes down to a few simple things.
“We have to focus, make sure we all do our jobs, use our speed, and trust in each other,” Andy Goettl said.
(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)
2017 MARSHFIELD FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
|Fri., Aug. 18||*at Oshkosh West (Titan Stadium)||8:15 p.m.|
|Fri., Aug. 25||APPLETON WEST||7 p.m.|
|Fri., Sept. 1||at Hortonville||7 p.m.|
|Fri., Sept. 8||KAUKAUNA||7 p.m.|
|Fri., Sept. 15||at Stevens Point (Goerke Field)||7 p.m.|
|Fri., Sept. 22||WISCONSIN RAPIDS||7 p.m.|
|Fri., Sept. 29||at Oshkosh North (Titan Stadium)||5 p.m.|
|Fri., Oct. 6||at D.C. Everest (Stiehm Stadium)||7 p.m.|
|Fri., Oct. 13||°WAUSAU WEST||7 p.m.|
Home games in CAPS, at Beell Stadium, Marshfield Middle School
(All games broadcast on WDLB-AM 1450 and wdlbwosq.com)