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New Berlin West shooting to make football playoffs again

Kozlowski, Hewitt look to lead Vikings

New Berlin West’s John Kozlowski will lead the offense this season.

New Berlin West’s John Kozlowski will lead the offense this season. Photo By C.T. Kruger

Aug. 18, 2014

New Berlin West football coach Al Moroder is entering his third season as the Vikings' head man. and he has the same goal for his 2014 team.

The Vikings were 4-4 his first year and 4-5 his second, and it was the first time West made the playoffs in back-to-back seasons under the same head coach.

"At the end of last season, the underclassmen set their goals as they want to host a playoff game," Moroder said. "And that's something that comes straight from them. They're really driving where we want to go.

"When the kids are setting expectations for themselves, they hold themselves more accountable."

Light on experience

The Vikings have only nine seniors, and this season's squad is physically small, so they plan on using speed to their advantage. The Vikings will probably have about six players go both ways, so injuries could be devastating.

Junior quarterback John Kozlowski, a 6 foot, 180-pounder, will be in charge of Moroder's run option offense. He started seven games as a sophomore in 2013.

"He is a brilliant kid, a student of the game," Moroder said.

Kozlowski expects to be handing the ball off a lot to Mitch Hewitt, a sophomore running back who started at defensive end as a freshman. Hewitt, who is 6-5, 230, will pound the ball for the Vikings.

"He will also play linebacker and call the defense," Moroder said. "And that's something we don't take lightly."

Senior Alex Rodriguez, a 6-0, 200-pounder, and Cody Aschenbrenner, 6-0, 180, will help key the line from their defensive end positions.

Tough division

Greendale and Pewaukee are always tough, Moroder pointed out.

"They have good programs," he said. "Tosa West has a good young quarterback (Rayvon Bartelt, Jr.) and a good running back (Demaris Purifoy). Pius XI will have some good athletes again, and Eisenhower will be all fired up with a new coach (Matt Kern)."

The Vikings will have to win early (Eisenhower and Pius) because then they play Greendale, Pewaukee and Tosa West.

Hosting that playoff game is key for the Vikings.

"The kids' goals are important, and I believe we're going to get there," Moroder said.

Coaching staff

Moroder's varsity staff this season will consist of Chris Chudada, Sal Crivello, Pat Detmer, Ryan De Koch, Andrew Johnson, Nick Pratt and Aaron Walsh.

Tom Farina, Tony Pine and Andy Wargin are the freshman assistant coaches.

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