New Berlin West football looks to improve some more
Moroder begins second year at the helm
When you look at New Berlin West's Al Moroder, you probably wonder what position he plays. That's because the 27-year-old second-year head coach looks more like a player than a football coach.
Moroder took over a program last season that was coming off a 2-7 season, 2-3 in the Woodland Conference West Division.
His youthful enthusiasm paid, as he totally revamped the offense, putting in a split back, veer option offense and instilled a new confidence in the Vikings.
After beginning the year with a 1-3 record, including a 21-14 loss at Eisenhower, the Vikings adjusted offensively and finished with three wins in their final four conference games, losing only to West Division leaders Pewaukee, 32-24, in a hard-fought game.
They found themselves back in the playoffs, losing to the Pirates in the first round, 52-21.
The Vikings' success has carried over into this season.
"I think it carried over into the off-season with the kids' lifting," Moroder said. "Many of our kids went out for track and our 4 by 100 that qualified for state, every single one of those kids were football players (Dylan Wiese, Bryan Watson, Nate Latus, now graduated Sean Marton).
"We try to promote multi-sport athletes. Whether it's basketball or wrestling in the winter, track and we had two players on the state championship baseball team. Kids get used to a competitive attitude."
Moroder sees that confidence so far this year and it's coming from a team that returns 18 starters.
"And when that happens, it makes coaching a lot easier," he said.
Wiese, who took over at the end of last year, will return at quarterback this season.
"He's a bright kid," Moroder said. "He's a kid who didn't run hurdles at the beginning of last year and then won indoor and outdoor conference as well."
Watson and Travis McKeon, both seniors and returning starters, will join Wiese in the backfield. Brett Connors (6 feet, 6 inches, 315 pounds) and Lukas Lauer (6-0, 260) are returning all-conference performers, the former on offense, the latter on defense.
"Lukas is a two-way player, he is the heart of the team," Moroder said. "He and McKeon are our only two-way players.
"It's been something we're been trying to do (two-platoon). It gets more players involved. They can focus on one position."
Lauer, Ben Meleski and Alex McLeod at linebacker and McKeon at safety will lead the defense.
"We preach consistency on offense," Moroder said. "Control the clock. On defense our motto is to work as one and I think the kids take that to heart."
Junior Eric Kennedy at wide receiver and Allen Peil at linebacker are two newcomers to watch.
Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.
Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter Get the Newsletter!
- Boys basketball: Eisenhower takes early command of Woodland
- Four local athletes awarded NOW football honors
- New Berlin West girls win basketball opener
- New Berlin Marlin boys swim team returns plenty of talent
- Poor third quarter leads to New Berlin Eisenhower girls basketball opening loss
- Detmer takes over reins as new New Berlin wrestling coach
- Timmer scores 33 for New Berlin Eisenhower boys basketball in win
- West girls beat Dominican, 38-36
- New Berlin West girls swimmers earn high honors
- Cultured established for West football