WAYNE – As the fall weather begins to settle in, high school football teams across the country began their first week of practice. For Wayne High, the Blue Devils have had a new attitude this season starting with another great year of summer conditioning and weight lifting.
In 2016, Wayne High finished 3-6. The Blue Devils picked up two road wins and only one win on the home turf of Bob Cunningham Field on the campus of Wayne State College.
Entering his second year with the WHS football program, Russ Plager is in his first year as the head coach. There are 45 players on the Blue Devil roster and coach Plager said the senior class will be the ones to look up to.
“That’s a really solid class, good leaders, they’ve showed up in the weight room all year,” said Plager. “A really reliable class that’s going to be the core of our team.”
Thursday morning, the team worked on eye discipline and tackling drills.
Some of the coaches assisting Plager will be Adam Hoffman as the offensive coordinator and quarterback’s coach, Dave Wragge is the special teams coach who also helps with running backs and linebackers, Brendan Dorcey is the running backs and linebackers coach while Scott Sievers will work with the defensive backs and wide receivers and Brent Pick with the o-line and d-line.
Two of the team’s seniors are Beau Bowers who is a quarterback and safety as well as Ryan Jaixen who is a wide receiver and cornerback. Both talked about the upcoming season.
“I’m exciting for the games Friday, the atmosphere, hopefully a lot of fans come out and support us,” Bowers added. “I think we’ll do really good.”
“He’s (Coach Plager) been working us really hard since last February that’s when we’ve started and haven’t stopped since,” Jaixen mentioned.
Coach Plager’s message to the team is to keep moving forward and improve every day.
“Hopefully it’s faster than slower and to keep making progress,” said Plager. “But we just got to keep working and make progress and W’s and L’s will take care of themselves.”
Wayne High will open their 2017 campaign with a road contest against Columbus Scouts on Friday, August 25 at 7 p.m. The home opener for the Blue Devils will be on Friday, September 1 when Boone Central/Newman Grove comes to town for a 7 p.m. start.