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Seymour football has ‘lots of places to fill’

By Greg Bates

SEYMOUR – Seniors dominated last year’s Seymour football team’s lineup.

Some new faces will have to step up this season to improve on a 2-7 record from 2020.

The Thunder – which was one of a few teams in Northeastern Wisconsin to play its fall season due to the COVID-19 pandemic – will return a handful of starters from each side of the ball.

“We played lots of seniors last year, and we try to do that anyhow,” 17th-year Seymour head coach Matt Molle said. “They’ve earned those opportunities, usually for putting in the time in your program. I wouldn’t say it was more so last year because that’s how it worked out, but I was cognizant of the seniors and them having their last experience. That also leaves us with lots of places to fill.”

Offensively, Seymour averaged only 13.6 points per game and scored seven or fewer points in four of its nine games.

Gone is three-year quarterback Peyton VanDeHei and four of its top five rushers, including Carson Molle.

“We’ve got guys who have lots of experience playing football, not necessarily in the particular spot they’ll play varsity-wise, but they played and they know what it takes,” Molle said. “It’s going to be a change this year in lots of ways. We have lots of different coaches. That’s the first time we’ve had that much changeover in our staff.”

Senior Will DeBruin steps in at quarterback.

An accomplished athlete, he’s been a solid shortstop on the baseball team – a leadership position – for a few years.

“He’s smart, and I like the things he can bring to the table, so it will be fun to work with him,” Molle said.

At running back, Dawson Steltz earned carries last year as a junior and will be one of the primary ball carriers.

Ryan Gady will also be in the backfield, and some guys with junior varsity experience – juniors Parker McHugh, Cole Tetzlaff and Grant Schmidt – will get time.

Chester Baranczyk is the most experienced receiver back, and Mason Pautz also earned time last season.

“They’re similar because they’re not burners, but they’re good route runners, responsible, smart and they’ll be in the right spot,” Molle said. “(DeBruin) has played with those guys throughout his career, so there’s a level of comfort there.”

There is some stability back on the offensive line.

Paul Everetts, Truett Uhlenbrauck, Landon Campbell and Connor Seitz all got plenty of snaps in 2020.

“Those four guys are a couple of guards and a couple of tackles, which is nice because then you can balance things up,” Molle said. “We’ll be moving pieces around to see where our best five guys fit in as a unit.”

Defense has always been Seymour’s bread and butter.

Last year, the Thunder had a rough go of it, giving up 28.9 points per game and allowing 34 or more points in four games.

“We struggled last year stopping the run – that hurt us,” Molle said. “Time of possession kills you. We gave up lots of first downs in the run game. If you’re going to do that, you’re not going to see the ball very often. When you’re not great offensively, which we weren’t in most games last year, you have to be able to get off the field. That’s going to be an emphasis.”

Running its base 30 stack, Seymour has a good corps of linebackers back to build its defense around.

“That’s the level of the defense we return the most experience,” Molle said. “(Uhlenbrauck) locked down one of those linebacker spots last year. (Gady) played some inside and outside linebacker, and (Steltz) played some outside linebacker. Between those guys, that’s three full-time starters coming back at that level. That gives you more comfort.”

On the defensive line, Trent Du Chateau, Jadin Drath and Dane Swenson – who is coming off his second ACL injury – all saw the field last season.

Campbell, Seitz, Everetts and Tommy Romanowski all will see time in 2021.

Graduation hurt Seymour’s secondary the most, as all five of its starters – VanDeHei, Molle, Daniel Krull, Logan Mattson, Tyler Lesatz – are gone.

Baranczyk and Pautz will be two of the pieces plugged into the lineup this year.

Seymour 2021 regular season schedule

8/20 – @ Freedom (40-0 L)
8/27 – Luxemburg-Casco
9/3 – @ Xavier
9/10 – Winneconne
9/17 – @ Wrightstown
9/24 – @ Fox Valley Lutheran
10/1 – New London
10/8 – @ Shawano
10/15 – Waupaca

• 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 for Green Bay East, CLICK HERE.

To read the preview for Green Bay Preble, CLICK HERE.

To read the preview for Green Bay N.E.W. Lutheran/Oneida Nation, CLICK HERE.

To read the preview for Green Bay West, CLICK HERE.

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