That is all Waynesfield-Goshen had last season. However, those were two vital wins that Tiger head coach Shane Wireman hopes is a springboard to even more wins last season.
The first win of the season in week three ended a two-year losing streak that was key into getting Waynesfield-Goshen back in the win column. The next victory in the final game of the season is something Wireman hopes carries over into this year.
“I think it is huge for the kids,” Wireman said. “If you lose enough times at anything whether it is a video game or football you start to believe you can’t win. I believe it is a confident booster and getting that off your back where you can move forward now and not talking about ending the losing streak but can we re-establish ourselves in the conference. We won that week 10 game and I hope it carries into week 1.”
Wireman understands that it is a brand new year with a whole new set of obstacles but he was encouraged by the numbers that participated in the weight and conditioning program in the off season and the 7 on 7 competition in the summer and called it the best summer he has had since taking over the program.
During the summer, Wireman’s focus was improving the passing game in order to provide a more balanced attack.
“We know we can run the football but we want to complement that with the passing game especially in the red zone when teams want to be aggressive with the blitz or load up the box,” Wireman said.
Quarterback Evan Miller, who was hurt as a freshman, will be called on to handle additional duties with the installation of more passing plays. And for the first time Wireman said they have depth at the signal caller position with Cooper Roberts, a freshman, that may see action is some different formations.
“That will be a positive to have some depth.” Wireman said. “That is something we have not had in the past.”
Wireman said that he feels the team has a lot of good receivers on the team ready to make an impact. Some of the Tigers targets for Miller are Cole Lambert, Layton Campbell and Wes Eller.
“We have some guys that can play out on the perimeter,” Wireman said. “It just seems like in the past it hasn’t clicked. Guys have either run the wrong route or bad protection up front so the quarterback doesn’t ready the play.
Wireman added the passing game is still a work in progress at this point but expect it to improve as the Tigers get into the season and play against live competition and he expects the air attack is going to swing the season in a positive or negative way depending on how effective the air attack is during the first half of the year.
The Tigers can always fall back on their running game and despite graduating a talented pair of running backs in Dustin Klenke and Tyler Eller, the Tigers return a pair of juniors, Joel Rickle and Kyle Searson, that got their fair share of carries last year. Both Searson and Rickle were honorable mention NWCC selections for their efforts on both sides of the ball.
Spearheading the offensive line is senior tackle Dustin Plummer with three juniors around him along with freshman and sophomore battling for that final guard slot. Wireman also points to Austin Burt, who played center as a freshman, had a great year in the weight room and should provide some additional stability up front.
“We don’t have the depth we have had in the past but we have a pretty good core up front,” Wireman said. “We just need to stay healthy and that will be a concern for us.”
Defensively, the Tigers play a base 40 but will switch it up depending on the offense the Tigers are facing.
“We will play multiple fronts,” Wireman said. “We have four junior linebackers and we have been young there in the past but those guys have grown up. I feel really good about the linebackers.”
Searson and Rickle headline the linebacking crew with Josh Kirchner and Evan Miller joining them.
On the defensive line, Wireman will be rotating a number of players. In the defensive backfield, Wireman said he has a slew of players who are capable of contributing. Even though the Tigers always have a numbers issue, Wireman said he is hoping to play players less and less both ways in order to keep players on both sides of the ball fresh.
With a solid summer and what appears to be a new injection of excitement about the passing attack, Wireman is hoping to add to their win total this year.
“The biggest thing that I want to see is now that we got a couple of wins last year what are we going to do to in some tight games,” Wireman said. “I think we can be in the middle of the pack but you get into a 14-14 game what are you going to do if the guys get nervous because they have not been in these tight situations very much. That is going to be a point of emphasis and that is to stay calm and really execute down the stretch.”