WAPAKONETA – Wapakoneta coach Travis Moyer pretty much sums up Braeden Goulet’s value to the Redskins this season by stating, “We don’t win the WBL without him.”
The Redskin signal-caller, who also played defensive back, was the guiding force on offense that helped Wapakoneta to a 9-2 overall year, a share of the league title and a berth in the playoffs.
Goulet rushed for 1,098 yards during the regular season with 16 touchdowns and passed for six touchdowns and 862 yards en route to being named Western Buckeye League co-offensive back of the year and the 2021 Lima News Dream Team offensive player of the year.
After a season that was beset by injuries in 2020, Goulet came into this year ready to be the Redskins’ quarterback and put last year behind him.
“My approach this year was come to practice and work as hard as you can and listen to the coaches and be excited for the season and come win some games,” Goulet said. “I had to be the leader and lead everyone in the right direction.”
Moyer said coming into the season he knew Goulet was going to be a big part of the Redskin offense.
“We saw some glimpses of it last year, but injuries set him back last year,” Moyer said. “He is a dual-threat quarterback, and we knew he had the ability to run the ball and throw the ball. Where I think he took that step forward was that he became comfortable in the pocket, and as the season went on you could see the confidence growing and knowing when to step up in the pocket and when to take the ball down and take off.”
Goulet added that he describes himself as someone who leads by example and said he isn’t much of a talker but did speak up when the time called for it.
Moyer added that Goulet’s versatility was never in question, having played receiver and tailback on offense, and it was a matter of gaining experience.
“He is a special kid,” Moyer said. “He made some truly great choices and decisions with the ball and was truly a special player for us.”
Moyer added that Goulet was a player who continued to grow throughout the season.
“He was our leader and young guys looked up to him. Guys knew Braeden had to make plays for us, but he also knows how important those guys around him were especially those guys up front and those guys outside. Jace Mullen was a great complement in the backfield this year,” Moyer said. “I think it all worked out for us in the end in terms of our improvement on the offensive side of the ball.
“We had a good year on offense, and in previous years that has been a concern, but he truly is a special player and well-deserving of this award. He is one of the toughest players I have coached and in terms of his toughness that he provided at that position.”
Because of his limited time last season behind center, Goulet added that he was still developing as a quarterback entering this year. The Redskins opened with a loss to Marion Local and then bounced back with a win over St. Marys in overtime. From there the team went 7-1 with its only loss a shootout against Van Wert.
Moyer points out those two regular-season losses were to teams who made the playoffs and all the way to the regionals semifinals.
Goulet said preparation was the key to winning.
“We had great game plans every week,” Goulet said about having a successful season. “Every week we went to a game knowing what was going on, and that just gave us a step forward and ahead of what was going on.
“We watched lots of film and watch game after game after game and practice like we were going to play that team and be ready to play.”
One of the highlights for Goulet was the team capturing the WBL title after a tough season last year.
“It was awesome winning the league,” Goulet said. “It was our first goal, and we knew we did that, we were going to make the playoffs. It gave us an advantage going into the playoffs.”
Goulet may have been the driving force, but the modest senior said none of the postseason accolades would be possible without help.
“All the credit to my team and my coaches,” Goulet said. “My teammates are amazing, and the coaches led me every single day and wanted me to get better. I can’t thank all my teammates and coaches enough.”