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Red Devils building consistency with Behrend

By Murray Gleffe

GREEN BAY – The Green Bay East football team is coming off a 2-8 season, but second-year head coach Shaun Behrend can’t wait for the first game to arrive.

“I’ve stepped in and taken over the middle school program, as well as developed our underclassmen,” said Behrend. “I feel like we have a lot of freshmen and sophomores who will see the field, but they have to be taught the right way to keep getting better.”

Offensively, East will try to spread guys out, run inside zone plays and utilize its speed with quick bubble screens.

The Red Devils will continue to snap the ball within seconds of the previous play ending.

“We don’t have the big bodies that West De Pere or Menasha have,” Behrend said. “We need to get to the sidelines and tire our opponents out by limiting their substitutions.”

East split two quarterbacks last season, but both have since graduated.

Junior Alex Schlag and freshman Riley Jensen are in a battle to see who will come out on top.

“Alex commands the offense really well, and Riley has a natural throwing arm, along with great athleticism,” said Behrend.

Brandon Munoz, Will Moren and Adam Lee appear to be the leading candidates to take over in the backfield.

“We’ll be a running team by committee this year,” Behrend said. “I like what each kid brings to the table. Each of them has to perform on Friday nights. You don’t replace over 900 yards of production overnight.”

Behrend was referring to the loss of graduated seniors Chris Morris and Jermiah Flowers from the backfield.

At split end and flanker, Alex Aoki, Jake Zellner and Brett Hansen all return, along with a couple of talented newcomers that could see the field.

“The biggest difference you will see is with our depth,” said Behrend. “We were in a number of games last season, but stamina in football is a big issue. Right now, we are at about 50-55 players. In the upcoming years, I would like to see a roster in the 60s.”

Defensively, East will run a 3-3 stack with blitzes and variations of coverages.

Christian Toonen, Keng Lee and Rex Salazar are the leading returnees to a unit which was hurt by graduation.

“We have a number of kids fighting for starting and backup roles on defense,” Behrend said. “We need to find a way as coaches to rest kids along the way so they’re fresh down the stretch.”

The Red Devils and City Stadium – East’s home field – go hand-and-hand as being iconic symbols of Green Bay’s past for close to a century.

Recently, field turf was added to enhance the experience and prevent injury, but more importantly, the athletes get to play on a field that the Green Bay Packers once stepped foot on from 1925-1956.

“Look at the place – it’s awesome,” Behrend said about City Stadium. “We want to be a football team which competes hard, have the students take care of business in the classroom and respect the history of this place.”

                                                                           Coach Spotlight

Name: Shaun Behrend

School: Green Bay East

Years coaching at Green Bay East: 2

Other football coaching gigs: Grafton, Orlando Edgewater

Hometown: Oconomowoc

Shaun Behrend

Most memorable coaching moment: “Coaching my son Cortez at Edgewater for two years. He was the quarterback, and we beat Apopka – who was on a long winning streak – on a Hail Mary to win the game – it was utter pandemonium.”

Coaching mentor: “Jim Zebrowski, who was my head coach at Lakeland University. He got me into football and really showed me what it was like to be part of a team. Two others are Kirk Kennedy from Lowell, Indiana, and Pat Wagner of Milwaukee Riverside.”

Best high school player you’ve coached against: “Chandler Cox of Apopka High School, Deandre Francois from Olympia High School and Dexter Williams of West Orange High School.”

Goals for 2019: “Teach these young guys how to play football. We’re so talented but so raw at the same time. Improve every day, have a family atmosphere and most importantly, find a way to get these guys to buy into getting good grades with the resources we have in the district.”

My style of coaching is: “I coach with passion and intensity. I have softened my stance a bit through the years, but I still demand effort and drive. Relationship and communication must be there for a program to succeed.”

                                                 Green Bay East 2019 regular season schedule

8/23 – Seymour

8/30 – Xavier

9/6 – @ Shawano Community

9/13 – West De Pere

9/21 – @ Green Bay West – 1 p.m.

9/27 – Clintonville

10/4 – @ Waupaca

10/11 – New London

10/18 – @ Menasha

  • All games begin at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted.
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