Wolverine football looks to prove doubters wrong

Jake Ryder

   DIKE – Don Betts expects to see a lot of wide eyes at the line of scrimmage.
   The Dike-New Hartford football head coach will be sending in young Wolverines feet first into the varsity game as a small-but-motivated senior class looks to set the course for a third-consecutive trip to the state semifinals at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls.
   "These guys are going to have to understand what it takes to play in varsity quickly," Betts said. "That's the challenge, but we've met that challenge every year."
   Overall numbers are down about 15 kids compared to last season, with 14 athletes each at the sophomore and junior levels.
   D-NH only has six returning seniors, led by first-team Class 2A District 3 all-district lineman Chase Arends, one of three returning faces on D-NH's O-line.
   "I enjoy the leader role, I enjoy helping everyone out," Arends said. "It's a lot of pressure, not going to lie – when something goes wrong everyone looks to me: 'Why didn't you fix it?' … I take it day by day, another day, another practice. What I'm trying to do is set a good example."
   As with all the other teams in 2A-3, D-NH gets an early start to the season with a Week 0 matchup at Independence on Friday, Aug. 18.
   That meant official practice began a week earlier, but other than some slightly hotter than normal temperatures, senior Ben Freese didn't see a disadvantage to the head start.
   "I think we all enjoyed getting back at it early," he added. "It's a sport we all love and we've tackled the task for sure."
   The full story is in the Aug. 17 Grundy Register. This preview will be part of the upcoming Fall Sports Preview, which will be included with the Sept. 7 edition of the Register.

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