Colors: Green and White
Head Coach: A.J. Burki (3rd season)
2018 record: 7-3 (lost to Creighton in 2nd round of playoffs)
Returning Starters: N/A
The Wisner-Pilger Football team returns a lot of players from last year’s 7-3 second round playoff team. Head Coach A.J. Burki says that includes Landon Beaver.
“Some of them that I think are going to contribute a little bit more and are probably going to get recognition that maybe wouldn’t have. I think probably one big one will be Landon Beaver. Landon played offensive guard for us and then he rotated in providing depth at the defensive line, and this year he’s come into the fall and practice these last couple of weeks and he looks really good. He’s doing a nice job. I think he’s probably in the best shape he’s ever been. A lot stronger, a lot quicker than he’s ever been. And so he’s really taken over the role of offensive line leader versus last year kind of being that role player and just somebody we could depend on.”
Burki says the team is also really excited about Mason Dimon and what he brings to the table.
“Another returning starter this year on offense will be Mason Dimon. He’s going to help anchor the offensive line with Tyler McBride and Landon Beaver. But probably more importantly, Mason’s a three-year starter on the defensive side of the ball, has a great understanding of the game, and more importantly has been kind of doing the same thing for the last couple years now.”
Burki says Colby Heller and Dylan Kneifl return at tight end, Trevor Styskal at Quarterback, Justin Pieper and Gavin Lampman sharing responsibilities at running back, and Tyler McBride at Center.
The Gators parted ways with seniors Jayden Raabe, Jacob Borgelt, and Dylan Uhing last season.
Wisner-Pilger begins their second year of 8-man this upcoming season. Burki feels his team is more prepared this year coming into their 2nd year of 8-man.
“Going into our second year of 8-man will help build confidence that I think we gained as the season went on and the boys rolled with it really well last season. But at the same time when you make that transition and you go down and you play teams that are consistently good year in and year out at 8-man, you’re kind of going to another level of football. And that’s actually kind of been what we’ve talked about all offseason and all during fall camp is just making sure that we understand we did a lot of good things last year that we’re very pleased about and very happy that we were able to accomplish. But at the same time we want to maintain kind of our presence as one of those teams that people have to be worried about, and people have to think about week in and week out when they play us every Friday.”
The Gators host Cross County in the season opener on Friday.
2019 Wisner-Pilger Gators Football Schedule:
08/30/19 Cross County
09/06/19 @ East Butler
09/20/19 @ Madison
09/27/19 Guardian Angels Central Catholic
10/04/19 @ Winnebago
10/18/19 @ Omaha Nation