KFIZ Sports Two-a-Days : WLA Vikings

The Winnebago Lutheran Academy football team hopes to
rebound in 2018 after just missing out on the playoffs in 2017. Seth Jaeger steps
into his second year as coach of the Vikings, hoping to build his team from a 4-5
overall record and a 2-4 conference mark, which broke a streak of four straight
playoff appearances. Coach Jaeger says the season “Wasn’t the way you wanted to
end. We battled through some adversity and we’re proud of our guys for doing
that. Again, we were looking for a different outcome, but that season is over
now.” A number of close losses in conference play – by 16, six, nine and five
points – plus injuries at several key positions, including their first and
second string quarterbacks, hurt the Vikings’ chances in 2017.

A highlight of the offseason for Winnebago Lutheran was the
chance for senior lineman Grant Manke to take part in the Wisconsin Football
Coaches Association All-Star Game. Manke, a unanimous first-team all-Flyway
Conference selection, finished second on the team in tackles and tied for the
team lead in tackles for loss in 2017. “A guy like him, you hope you hope all
of your athletes emulate” Coach Jaeger said of Manke. “With how hard he’s
worked from his freshman year on to make himself into the player that he is,
and then to be able to celebrate with him and watch him at the All-Star game
was such an awesome opportunity.” Manke will be playing college football at
Olivet Nazarene University in Illinois this fall.

The 2018 Vikings return several players who saw significant
playing time last year. Coach Jaeger points out Ryan Weigand – last year’s
backup quarterback, Gideon Wenig, last year’s leading rusher, along with Donovan
Schwartz and Ryan Jacobs as some key returners for the team on offense. On
defense, Jaeger expects the linebacking corps – which has two out of three
players returning to be a strength, along with the defensive line that features
Ryan Jacobs and Parker Boehlke as key contributors.

2018 WLA Vikings Schedule:

8/17: At Kettle Moraine Lutheran

8/24: Valders

8/31: At Random Lake

9/7:   Lake Mills

9/14: St. Mary’s Springs

9/21: Lomira

9/28: At Mayville

10/6: Laconia

10/12: At Omro