Wausau West football begins season with a new coach, more versatile offense

Published: Aug. 7, 2022 at 9:18 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Wausau West football made the playoffs for the first time since 2016 last season,and they look to use that as a building block for this season.

The Warriors split the Wisconsin Valley Conference on their way to heights the program hasn’t seen in recent years, winning at least seven games for the first time since 2013, but they aim to take it a step further.

“A lot of us didn’t have any playoff experience going into last year, we’re a young team. We’ll use that as fuel to win it this year,” running back Landon Parlier said.

The Warriors were a two-seed in the playoffs but lost to seven-seeded Neenah at home in the first round.

“They understand what winning football teams have to do. I think that, we can look at what we can do differently come playoff time if we get there,” head coach Matt Johnson said.

Johnson takes over as head coach after Jason Foster became Wausau West’s athletic director. Johnson was the team’s offensive coordinator last season.

He tries to configure an offense that lost their best weapon last season, Colten Geurink. The running back ran for over 1,400 yards and 17 touchdowns in 2021.

Vince Hanz, the team’s quarterback, is excited for the versatility their offense will show without Geurink carrying the load of the offense.

“Colten was more of a hand the ball off every down, ram it down their throat. I think a lot of these guys can catch the ball too, so we’ll have a lot of versatility in the backfield,”

Johnson says he believes giving Geurink an average of 23 carries per game was warranted because of his ability, but he’s looking forward to drawing up different looks for opponents to prepare for.

“He’s going to be a tough one to replace. He was really really good, but like the guys said, versatility, attacking people a little bit differently with some of those weapons, I think will be fun,” Johnson said.

The Warriors open the season hosting Superior at home on August 19.

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