Thursday, August 21, 2014

Freeman Football Preview - Crusaders

from today's Waukesha Freeman -

Catholic Memorial’s Sam Gromacki, left, and Jaylen Campbell 
stand up a ballcarrier during a playoff game last season.
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff

CMH stout on defensive line
Freeman Staff 

WAUKESHA — Catholic Memorial players have most likely have read the Book of Revelation
 in the Bible. It’s not the end of the world when seniors Sam Gromacki and Ronny Driscoll, junior Zack Taylor and sophomore Tevin Smith are on the field — but they will end the opposing offense’s push as the Crusaders’ stout interior defensive line.

“We always talk offensively to run the ball and defensively stop the run,” coach Bill Young said. “We were pretty good with that last year, but that was last year. We will see if we can improve on that.”

Gromacki (6-foot, 275 pounds) was a second-team all-state and first-team all-conference pick.

“Sam is just an old-time football player,” Young said. “He’s a physical kid that loves to compete and loves the game. He’s just really fun to coach.”

Taylor is the biggest of the group at 6-3, 288. Driscoll is 6-0, 249, and Smith is 5-11, 245.

Sophomore Jaylen Campbell (6-1, 185) will play drop end. Junior Niko Medina (5-11, 192)
 can also play at the drop end, while junior Nick Schulze (6-1, 205) and Mike Schmidt (6-5, 226) will play as rush ends.

Senior Mikey Wurster (6-1, 201) returns as the top linebacker. Senior Chris Rupel (5-10, 197) missed last season with an injury during the scrimmage, but played as a sophomore.

Junior Matt Lechner (5-11, 183) returns at safety along with senior corners Jack Crain (6-0, 175)
 and Jett Siegenthaler (6-0, 171). 

Junior Alex Bray (6-2, 175) will step in under center.

“We have high expectations at the quarterback position,” Young said. “I think he’s got good intelligence and the ability to throw the football.”

Senior Robbie Gogin (6-2, 180) will be Bray’s top target, and Young said Gogin did
 well in July camp. Senior tight end Schmidt at 6-5, and junior Fletcher Metz (6-4, 198) offer tall targets. The Crusaders also have sophomores Eric Fridl (5-7, 140) and Josh Karfonta (5-7, 155) as slot receivers.

Senior Tommy Garza (5-10, 188) will be the featured back, while Schulze looks to be the fullback and junior Pat McKnight (5-11, 210) and Campbell are in the mix.

“We’d like to throw it about 12 to 15 times a game and run the ball 30 times a game or more,” Young said. “If you
 can get to 55 plays or more, you are doing really well.”

Senior center Tony Ballistreri (6-4, 285), a threeyear starter, is the top returner on the offensive line. Sophomores Bruce Mesa (6-0, 258 pounds) and Chan Bargielski (6-0, 263) have made an impression and look to play at guard. Junior Gabe Bautz (6-3, 290) will start on the line, but Young doesn’t know if he wants him at tackle or guard.



The Freeman’s area football rankings 


1. Arrowhead — Two-time defending state champs

2. Waukesha West — A lot of talent returns for state semifinalist

3. Catholic Memorial — Crusaders always find a way to reload

4. Hamilton — Chargers primed for GMC title run

5. Mukwonago — State semifinalist has some holes to fill

6. Lake Country Lutheran — Team was a state semifinalist a year ago

7. Oconomowoc — WLT champs have some retooling to do

8. Pewaukee — Pirates are postseason regulars

9. Brookfield Central — Lancers were second in GMC last year

10. Brookfield East — Spartans have some question marks

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