Waubonsie Valley Football is returning an experience team from this past spring, and hopes to use it to run the table in the DVC. This preview is sponsored by BMO Harris Bank.
If that sound of hitting doesn’t get you fired up then nothing will. The Waubonsie Valley Warriors are back in action after a roller coaster spring season. WV not only went 1-3 but their season got cut short by two games because of COVID 19 issues. Now with a more traditional fall upon us, season second year head coach Tom Baumgartner hopes the return of many experienced players on offense and defense will help the Warriors get back to their winning ways.
“We had 9 seniors and that definitely showed at times on the field and now we bring back 28 seniors which you know practice just tends to just go smoother with those guys in you know we’re really like I said we’re really excited about the kids we are bringing back and the additions we have as well”
One of the returning seniors is quarterback Nathan Pappas and after an up and down junior season he looks to take his play to a higher level in his second season as the signal caller.
“I think it’s more important that I improve upon my junior year I think there were definitely rooms of improvement for me and the team junior year and me specifically I think it’s really important for me to just keep improving and keep just getting better everyday”
Despite only playing four games last season, the time under center could not have been more pivotal for the QB.
“If we didn’t have that you know he’d be coming in basically as a senior that really is a junior in this situation playing varsity football for the first time so those four games are really important and right he’s in a nice QB battle with our sophomore Luke Elcy and their both doing a great job.”
One of his favorite targets returning for the fall is wide out Tyler Helbing who led the team with three receiving touchdowns. The wideout along with several other returning pass catchers, gives Pappas a reliable target once he takes that first snap.
“He’s really good in one on one situations so it’s really nice having knowing basically like one on one even if he’s leaving it, just one on one too you can always take that shot and there’s not really much of a risk with him” “those experienced guys can help teach the guys just coming up to varsity just help them with the adjustment to the speed of varsity and those experienced guys too have a year under their belt so with varsity where there’s practice or game time so it’s just really important for them too because they’re use to that speed they’re use to that type of play”
The Warriors running attack should be dynamic with the return of captain Jabron Lee and Antonio Torres. Lee was the team’s top rusher in the spring while Torres was a standout for WV as a sophomore now returns to Waubonsie after spending his junior year at Naperville Central.
While the two will be splitting time in the backfield, their chemistry developed early on even before they ever wore the Green and Gold.
“We’ve known each other for years now so you know it’s just the regular stuff this isn’t my first time playing with him and last year he was like a brother to me so you know we’re excited to run people over this year score touchdowns together and ready to win” (Butted Sots) “they push each other in practice they make each other better you they always if you watch sprints they’re always running next to each other you saw earlier during the Navy drill they’re always going against each other so it just fuels everyone else on the team and the two of them get along really well and they’ve taken a mirror under their wing kinda as a junior and done a nice job of leading him in the right direction too”
If the Warriors had one major flaw a season ago, it was keeping opposing offenses out of the endzone. During their 4-game schedule the Tribe gave up a total of 136 points. But defensive back Josh Sullivan knows that this defense is hungrier than ever.
“We got a lot of talent around us and I know we are capable of making a big run this year but more importantly being good teammates and our seniors leading our class of juniors and other classmen below us we know we can work together and push each other everyday in practice we’re pushing each other as hard as we can and that’s definitely gonna prepare us for the season”
And that defense will be tested all season with games against Oswego East, St, Charles East and Shaker Heights in Ohio. Waubonsie Valley has a chance to surprise everyone in the DVC after winning only 4 conference games over the past 3 seasons. A pair of important games will be on their home turf against Naperville Central and District 204 rival Neuqua Valley.
“We always talk about winning the valley beating the two valley schools and then winning the DVC and I think if you’re in position to do both of those things you got a very good football team.”
Reporting for Naperville Sports Weekly I’m Patrick Codo.
LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
If you're a high school sports fan, please consider a donation to Naperville's nonprofit TV station!Donate Today!