Sporting WCA

Picking Up The Pieces: WCA @ Lutheran North Pregame

As game day dawned on Friday morning, the Westminster Wildcat football team rose with many unanswered questions.

Friday’s football game will be the toughest one on their schedule. It also happens to come at the most inopportune time. This week against Lutheran North will be the only week where the Wildcats play without their quarterback, best offensive weapon, best running back and safety, leading tackler, and best defensive lineman:

Lane Davis, Junior starting quarterback, tore his ACL and had surgery this past Wednesday.

Atlin Hall, senior offensive star, will miss his third consecutive week with a high ankle sprain, and will only return next week if everything goes well, which does not seem highly likely.

Denver Parker, star sophomore running back and safety, and perhaps the future of Westminster’s team, has left the school to attend De Smet. Parker’s decision is what he and his family believe is the best for his future, and the Westminster community wishes him the best as he continues his academic and athletic career.

Zach Brasier, senior linebacker and fullback who hoped to lead the Wildcats in tackles for the second consecutive year, partially tore his LCL and a severely bruised patella in Westminster’s game against John Burroughs. Senior defensive lineman John Fregene sprained his ankle in practice last week and now will miss his second straight week.

Long story short, the season has not gone as planned so far. After defeating St. Mary’s 44-22 to go to 1-0, the Wildcats have gone 0-2 with a 21-14 loss to Liberty and a 28-7 loss to John Burroughs. That’s not to say it couldn’t turn around. The Wildcats could find new playmakers and play with a “next man up” attitude and hopefully win a couple games to salvage the season.

There is still hope for the season in freshman quarterback, Nick Ford who, despite only playing one game of JV in his life, is a good future prospect.

The best offensive option is Freshman LJ Minner, the workhorse of last week’s game against John Burroughs. He is strong and fast with good instincts, but hardly a viable option for all of the team’s carries as just a freshman.

Defensively, the Wildcats front seven could be challenged by nobody in the conference if fully healthy. But with John Fregene and Zach Brasier out, the defense will be considerably smaller and weaker, something they simply can’t afford against the Division I caliber opponents they will come up against this evening.

The Wildcats could certainly come out with a fire, put up a couple scores, and hope to stifle the talented offense of Lutheran North for 48 minutes, but the odds seem fairly unlikely. However, if they go out, score a couple touchdowns, play a fundamentally sound game, and escape injury-free, the game will be considered a success, win or lose. John Fregene and Atlin Hall will hopefully return next week, and Nick Ford will be twice as experienced as he was going into the game.

Coach Herring is an experienced coach, and he knows what he’s doing with this team. Just because the season hasn’t gone as planned so far doesn’t mean the season is lost.

The scoreboard is not the most important thing this week. Week 4 is also about the small victories, and staying healthy.

WCA @ Lutheran North 7:00 p.m.