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West De Pere football to ride Blount, strong defense

By Rich Palzewic
Sports Editor

DE PERE – When you have one of the best players in the state on your team, that usually equals a formula for success.

The West De Pere High School football team, coming off an 11-1 campaign, has quarterback Josh Blount returning for his senior season.

Chris Greisen

Blount, a Division I baseball commit to Illinois State, was named to the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association honorable mention all-state team last year.

“You better believe our offense is going through Josh,” said first-year head coach Chris Greisen, a former quarterback in the National Football League for the Arizona Cardinals, Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys. “We’ll use Josh in many different ways.”

Blount was 64-of-102 passing for 1,182 yards with 11 touchdown tosses in 2019.

He rushed for 1,366 yards, scored 21 touchdowns and averaged 10 yards per carry.

“Josh is a great runner,” Greisen said. “With him being so good there, that will open up other areas. He improved lots in the passing game this offseason. He’s smart and understanding things.”

Returning senior David Vanderlogt added almost 1,200 yards on the ground and 15 touchdowns last season.

Senior receiver Aaron Wagner (33 receptions, 415 yards, 2 touchdowns) is the top-returning playmaker out wide.

“Aaron is a tremendous receiver with a big heart,” said Greisen. “Watch out for sophomore Najeh Mitchell, too – he’s lightning in a bottle. Gyrience Goodman is another to watch. We’re diverse on offense and have to figure out how to get our playmakers the ball.”

The Phantoms have to replace first-team all-state offensive lineman Kerry Kodanko, now playing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and honorable-mention pick Billy Wyatt, a tight end.

“Despite our losses up front, I’m excited about our offensive line,” said Greisen. “Our offense can’t do anything without those five guys.”

Defensively, Cody Cavil, a first-team all-state outside linebacker, also graduated.

“We are anchored by two phenomenal inside linebackers in Jourdon Schuyler and Braydon Skenandore,” Greisen said. “The coaches who have been here for a long time said they haven’t seen two guys like this during their time. They’re natural and instinctual linebackers. They’re great leaders, and when they hit you, you’ll know it. We’re solid on defense.”

West De Pere has a difficult schedule to start – home versus Menasha in week one and on the road at Kaukauna the following week.

“We were supposed to play in the FRCC (Fox River Classic Conference) this season, so we’re simply happy to play,” said Greisen. “We hope we have all our guys for every game – especially those tough games. You want to see those tough games early on.”

Greisen said it’s been a “weird” start to the season because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Everything is so different with the protocols and safety measures,” he said. “But when we’re out on the field running plays, it’s all the same. You throw the other stuff out the window. Our motto is ‘find a way.’ The boys and coaches are blessed to have a season. We have great leadership in the district – they’ve been nothing but supportive.”

2020 West De Pere football schedule

Sept. 25 – Menasha

Oct. 2 – @ Kaukauna

Oct. 9 – Notre Dame Academy

Oct. 16 – Seymour

Oct. 24 – @ Xavier

Oct. 30 – Waupaca

Nov. 6 – @ Shawano

Editor’s note: All games begin at 7 p.m.

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