New Berlin Eisenhower football looking to bounce back
Setz hoping for good health this season
Sometimes something good happens because of something bad.
Last season New Berlin Eisenhower's football team had a 3-5 overall record, only their third losing season in the last 11 years. Unfortunately, they were 3-6 in 2010, so that means the Lions have had two losing seasons in the last three years.
Veteran coach Jeff Setz is hoping to turn that around this season.
"Absolutely. We had a good off-season," he said. "We had better attendance in the weight room.
"You can see a difference in their work in the 7-7 drills. They seemed to practice in a good matter. They took it serious, but had some fun. We had good attendance."
The first thing Setz is hoping for is good health. Last year the Lions lost Charlie Sirek (broken collarbone) before the season and Nick Somers (concussion) in the first half of the first game and had to move athletic wide receiver Vince Gabrielson to quarterback.
Gabrielson is back at wide receiver and Setz has three quarterbacks battling for the starting job: Seniors Tucker Tellefson and Peyton Cypress and sophomore Sam Carey.
Cypress moved into New Berlin last year and Carey handled the team well during the summer program.
"We want to keep everyone healthy at every position on offense and defense and not struggle with injuries this year," Setz said. "We want to get people on the field and keep them there."
The Lions' main offensive threat is talented senior running back Nick Taylor, who along with Gabrielson will also see action at wing this season. Getting the talented Taylor in space makes him even more dangerous.
Setz put in a new system, going with a wide open shotgun formation.
"I was worried about how we would handle it," Setz said, "but I've been pleasantly surprised. We're further along than I thought."
Junior middle linebacker Steve Harrell will anchor the defense, Setz said.
"He can really be a stopper," Setz said. "He is also coming off a concussion, so I have my fingers crossed. But he is the leader of our defense."
Setz also talked about three players who could step up and play a key role.
"John Borkhagen (6-3, 302) played some offensive line last year. We're looking at him to be a leader. Emilio Gutierrez (5-9, 225), who is a good wrestler for us, will also play in the offensive and defensive lines.
"Nick Ganzke, who plays running back and linebacker, is aggressive and he should carry that aggressiveness onto the field."
Eisenhower is also fortunate to have a talented special teams player in all-conference kicker/punter Nathan Erickson.
"Nathan had a nice off-season," Setz said. "We're expecting big things from him as a kicker and a punter. We want to make better field use of his foot."
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