Waterloo Bulldogs coach Dan Rose knows there’s a big hole on offense with the graduation of star running back Rick Wiegand.
How that hole gets filled should go a long way toward determining the team’s success in 2015, along with the continued improvement of quarterback Aaron Laskowski. Look for seniors Max Jennings and Mitchell Gladney to be front and center in the rebuilt backfield.
Jennings had 241 yards and three TDs on 57 carries last season while Gladney was the Bulldogs’ top receiver with 23 catches for 259 yards and a TD. Junior Hayden Bender adds additional depth in the backfield.
Laskowski is a senior in his second year as the starting quarterback. He completed 90-of-172 passes last season for 978 yards and 10 TDs with and seven interceptions, also running for 359 yards and five TDs.
Juniors Kyle Knefelkamp and Austin Patton are the top receiving threats while Rose will feature talented senior Cole Milam at a hybrid offensive position that could see him running the ball, catching it or serving as a blocker. Milam started at left tackle last season.
Senior left tackle Colton Henry returns. Other offensive linemen are left guard Austin Crimm, center Dakota Gagliardi, right guards Dalton Brown and Dawson Lake and right tackle James Neary.
Milam (58 tackles, three sacks) should be a force on the defensive line along with ends Korey Johnson (35 tackles, two sacks) and Dalton Brown.
Senior Kory Schaefer (62 tackles, one sack) has the potential to be a dominant linebacker. Other returning linebackers are Austin Stewart (45 tackles), Logan Kaufmann (20 tackles) and Dominic Gagliardi.
Senior cornerback Greysan Moehrs and Sam Metzger will play cornerback. Patton and Gladney (39 tackles, one interception) are back at safety, with Ryan Wiggers and Curtis Link also in the backfield.
— Norm Sanders
20-14, 2 OT