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West Allis Hale football hopes to take next step

Huskies seek to make run at playoff spot

West Allis Hale defenders Jake Gruichich (20) and Jordan Riche (46) are back for the Huskies this season.

West Allis Hale defenders Jake Gruichich (20) and Jordan Riche (46) are back for the Huskies this season. Photo By Jerry Luterman

Aug. 20, 2013

In the second season for head coach Brandon Ehret, the West Allis Hale football team wants to build upon last year's 3-5 finish.

"Our kids experienced some success last season and were competitive throughout," Ehret said. "They have had a very productive off-season, and we're looking for those gains to translate onto the field. We will continue to push to be a playoff team this year."

Ehret said his team has some talented seniors such as linebacker Jordan Riche (5 feet, 11 inches and 190 pounds), who racked up 81 tackles last season; linebacker Nick Mand (5-10, 200), who totaled 44 tackles; lineman Andrew Elliott (5-8, 250), with 25 tackles and three sacks; and lineman Jordan Plantiko (5-11, 200), with 15 tackles.

He added that big things are expected from juniors like running back Joe Werner (5-9, 170), running back/wide receiver Jeff Schubert (5-5, 140), linebacker Tyler Millikin (5-7, 185) and offensive lineman Cody Schumitsch (6-4, 240).

Fighting to replace the graduated Nick Sotiros at quarterback are junior Joe Jo Breznik (6-3, 160) and senior Jason Gallitz (6-0, 155).

Werner has looked good at running back, Ehret said, adding, "We're expecting him to carry the load. He has exceptional vision and is constantly pushing forward."

Playing receiver spots will be Schubert, senior Sam Michalski (6-0, 180) and junior Nate Scherer (5-9, 145).

The Huskies must replace all five offensive linemen from last season, but Ehret is hoping senior tackle Aaron Cronin (6-5, 260) will lead the way.

The defense will be paced by the linebacking corps featuring Riche and Mand, and other names to watch are senior linebacker Chris Martinez (5-11, 185) and junior back Mitchell Larson (5-9, 160).

"They are extremely physical and fast," the coach said of Riche and Mand, who both earned honorable-mention all-Greater Metro Conference last season. "They made a number of plays last season. We also have a strong defensive front."

Ehret said the GMC should be a battle again this season.

"It's going to be a week-in, week-out grind," he said. "Top to bottom, there are some great football squads in this conference. We can't take anything for granted and must get better as the year goes on to be successful."

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