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Gresen leads Hornets on gridiron

By Murray Gleffe

GREEN BAY – Dustin Gresen has had to fill some big shoes as the Green Bay Preble head football coach.

After former Wisconsin Football Coaches Association Hall of Famer Pat Prochnow retired in 2010 after leading the school to 173 wins, seven conference championships and 12 playoff berths in 25 years, Preble has had a few coaches take over the reins.

Entering his fourth year, Gresen (14-14 overall) said “he feels like he has stability with the student-athletes.”

Dustin Gresen

After his hiring, the Hornets advanced to the WIAA Division 1 playoffs in each of his first two seasons.

“Being out of the building is interesting, but it offers a different perspective,” Gresen said. “I’ve been here enough time where the kids see a familiar face every season. It’s important to have continuity in your program, which we have with our other coaches. I have a tremendous love for the game of football and want to impact these young men, not just on the field but in life.”

The Hornets will attempt to get back to their winning ways after a tumultuous 2-5 alternate fall season which included only 62 points of offensive production.

“We have to get back to the basics,” Gresen said. “There were some complexities when I took over the program. Lately, we have come to simplify a couple of things which we want to be good at.”

Back to the conventional fall season, Preble will be led by 6-foot-1, 170-pound senior quarterback Christian Rady and newcomer David Torres.

As a junior, Rady backed up Evan Holm.

“(Rady) is an athlete who knows the playbook well,” Gresen said. “(Torres) is a young quarterback who is getting better. Whoever makes the best decisions on game-day will be our guy this season.”

The Hornets have to plug major holes at the running back and wide receiver slots after graduating several key players.

Pierce Willems and Spencer Vargas are poised to garner a majority of the carries at running back, and Nick Becker will be flanked at wide receiver.

With the inexperience at the skill positions, Preble returns Logan Nowak at center and Logan Peterson and a few part-time starters to the line.

Gresen said he knows his defense must get better if they are to finish with a winning record.

Last season, they gave up 216 points on defense (30.9 points per game), which included Neenah and Fond du Lac scoring more than 50 points in each of the games.

Anchoring the back 11 could be several familiar faces Gresen has on the roster.

Upfront, potential candidates include Alex Yang and Dante Lemerande.

At the linebacking core, junior Max Nooyen and seniors Ben Mueller and Ivan Sedenquist could factor in heavily.

The defensive backfield will have to replace Holm and all-conference selection, Connor Shefchik.

Looking to make their marks are Adrian Heinemeyer, Ben Blaney and Ian Krings.

With an enrollment of close to 2200 students, Preble will continue to look for its next, new batch of talent.

“We have a diverse school at Preble,” Gresen said. “We have around 40 kids out for the varsity program this year, which we’re hoping grows as the students come back to in-person school. The WIAA has it set up where the big boys are playing the big boys. I feel our conference as a whole has scheduled tough non-conference teams as well. We’re excited to begin.”

Editor’s note: Green Bay Preble is the fifth team to be previewed in The Press Times.

Green Bay Preble 2021 regular season schedule

8/19 – @ D.C. Everest
8/26 – Appleton North
9/3 – Pulaski
9/10 – Sheboygan South
9/17 – @ Green Bay Southwest
9/24 – Ashwaubenon
10/1 – @ Bay Port
10/8 – West De Pere
10/15 – @ De Pere

• All games begin at 7 p.m.

To read the preview for Ashwaubenon, CLICK HERE.

To read the preview for Bay Port, CLICK HERE

To read the preview for De Pere, CLICK HERE

To read the preview about Green Bay East, CLICK HERE.

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