By Jack Ellis and Sydney Reiners
Tied for third in the Wright County Conference, Orono Football is hoping to move up even higher in the Wright County East division tonight when they travel to Zimmerman for a game against the 4-2 Thunder.
With quarterback Ben Turnham leading the division in passing with 832 yards and Koller Adzick leading in receiving with 316 yards, Orono is standing well in the very challenging conference.
Orono's varsity football team as a whole has set a feasible goal of winning a section title. With only six teams in their section, Orono is optimistic for getting that section title. To help the players reach this goal, head coach, Jeff Weiland states that he “always tries to make sure the kids have a good experience.” The wins and loses are a big part of the game, but it’s coach Weiland’s goal for the players to look back and remember football in a positive light.
“Most of my job is making sure the practices are going to be organized so we are learning something everyday,” states Weiland on the subject of preparing his team to accomplish their goals.
By watching lots of film he helps the players recognize what the other team does in order to gain a better chance of stopping their rivals.
Seniors Paul Morse Tom Wachman, Nate Seward and Nick Adzick are the captains of the Varsity football team.
“They aren’t real ‘ra-ra’ guys," coach Weiland said. "Most of them (lead) through the hard work that they do."
Weiland added this year's captains are extremely good organizers for the the team, which makes the coaches jobs a lot easier.
“They are good at one on one conversations,” describes Weiland.
If a player has a problem, Weiland says the captains are always there to address it and help him out.
“I think their love for the game of football is different than the last couple years,” says Weiland about his team.
Last Friday night, Orono played their homecoming football game against Mound Westonka, and came away with a 28-0 win.
“We try to make (homecoming) as similar as possible so it’s not a huge deal,” states Weiland about the preparing for the big game.
There are many distractions for the boys throughout the homecoming week, but the team has to remember that the biggests part of the week is the game. This year they managed to not only win they’re homecoming game, but make it a shutout.
The Spartans are excited for the promising outlook for the future or Orono football. The junior varsity team, who did not win a game last year, have already won two games with “good prospects” in the last three games as they continue to get better. The ninth-grade team is currently undefeated “with really strong players that might be able to play [varsity] as early as next year,” explains Weiland who is extremely optimistic for what’s coming up in Orono football.