Waukon football team returns four starters, 21 letterwinners for 2018 campaign following first-ever State Championship season

2018 Waukon football juniors and seniors ... Left to right - Front row: Lance Egan, Tyler Block, Justin Strub, Alyx Ede, John Ronan, Carter Benzing, Luke Pladsen, Reed Kelly, Brixen Hanson, Dawson Baures. Back row: Zach Thornton, Carson Jones, Thomas Byrnes, Michael Sweeney, Pryce Hesse, Brady Sullivan, Peyton Bieber, Brock Hatlan, Tanner Mitchell, Asher Fahey.

The ultimate history of a first-ever State Championship in program history won last season puts the Waukon football team in a similar first-ever position of having the opportunity to build on that ultimate success this season. That opportunity to build on past success will also offer the opportunity for an abundance of others to do the building, as graduation this past spring took a class of 16 seniors who filled a total of 18 of 22 starting positions from last season’s Class 2A State Championship squad.

Despite having just four returning starters from that history-making 2017 season of a best-ever 12-1 record, the football Indians will return 21 letterwinners from last season’s squad. “When we make a deep play-off run, we end up lettering all those who stick with us for scout teams, so we have a large number of letterwinners returning, but only four have started a game,” sixth-year Waukon football coach Chad Beermann explained. “However, some of them played huge roles last year, so we’ll lean on them this year.”

Regardless of returning experience, or the most immediate success of reaching the high school football pinnacle, Coach Beermann doesn’t see last season’s reaching of every team’s ultimate goal changing anything in the way his program approaches a new season. “I don’t think it has, other than making the kids aware of the standard set by having two teams make the championship game in five seasons,” the sixth-year Indian helm leader reasoned. “We don’t have many returning starters, so the main theme is getting kids to understand big things are possible, but only if we deal with all the little things first.”

This season’s road begins not too far down the road, as the Indians’ 2018 season kicks off at Decorah this Friday, August 24. The Vikings are the Tribe’s only Class 3A opponent on this season’s schedule and come off a 7-2 State Play-Off qualifying season last fall ended in the opening round by perennial power and eventual semifinalist Solon. Much like the Indians, however, Decorah suffered a large graduation loss from last season, and the Vikings also have a change at the head coaching helm after the retirement of long-time lead Viking Bill Post and the promotion of long-time assistant Pat Trewin. The grid Tribe will then host Crestwood Friday, August 31 in its only home game of this season’s four non-district contests that further take them to fellow 2017 State Play-Off qualifiers New Hampton and Cascade throughout early September.

2018 Waukon Varsity Football
Date    Opponent     Time
8/24    at Decorah    7:30 p.m.
8/31    vs. Crestwood    7:30 p.m.
9/7    at New Hampton    7:30 p.m.
9/14    at Cascade    7:30 p.m.
9/21    vs. Monticello    7:30 p.m.
9/28    at Oelwein    7:30 p.m.
10/5    vs. Waterloo Columbus (Homecoming)    7:30 p.m.
10/12    at Anamosa    7:30 p.m.
10/19    vs. North Fayette Valley    7:30 p.m.
10/26    State Play-Offs Begin    TBD

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