Newman Football ready to get over the hump

Published: Sep. 12, 2020 at 11:16 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) -With one week of practice down, assuming all goes well, the Newman Catholic Cardinals will open the 2020 season two Saturdays from now against Greenwood.

“Oh man, I can’t even explain how excited I am,” said Charlie McCarty, senior wide receiver and defensive in. “Starting in the beginning of the summer, I didn’t even know if we were going to have a senior year.”

Many of questioned how quickly it would take teams to get up to speed. Luckily for the defending state runners-up, that hasn’t been a problem.

“Yeah we’re lucky that we have a lot of older kids, and to be honest we could probably go have a game right now,” says Newman head coach Paul Michlig. “I’m not saying we’d look great, but we could definitely get through a game.”

Out at quarterback for the Cardinals is the graduated Ben Bates, who threw for 68 touchdowns over the past two seasons, and in is Dylan Ackermann, who filled in for Bates while he was hurt last year.

Ackermann admires what Bates did, but he’ll do things a little differently.

“I think I can bring a little extra to the table, I think I can be running the ball a little more than he could,” says Ackermann.

Ackermann will still have a Bates in the backfield with him: Ben’s younger brother Thomas, who ran for over 1,700 yards and 25 touchdowns as a freshman last year.

“He’s gonna be a horse,” Michlig says of Thomas Bates “And I’m talking legit one of the best one’s in the area the next three years.”

“He’s (Bates) really hard to bring down,” says McCarty. “I’ve been watching a lot of film and just breaking tackles, three, four tackles a play.”

Add in the return of last season’s leading receiver in McCarty, plus a little fuel to the fire from their loss in the state title game, and the Cardinals believe they have the ingredients to get over the hump.

“Chip on the shoulder is something, a term I like to use on the football field, and you know it wasn’t the way we wanted to end last year,” says Ackermann.

“We left open-handed last year, and we left it open, we didn’t close it,” says Thomas Bates. “We’re definitely going to try and get it this year.”

Before their first real game, Newman will scrimmage with Port Edwards this coming Saturday.

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