DeMeyer era begins with SHS football team
To build a successful football program a head coach needs to surround himself with a solid core of assistant coaches. Superior High School football head coach Bob DeMeyer believes he did just that as he begins his first year with the Spartans. De...
To build a successful football program a head coach needs to surround himself with a solid core of assistant coaches.
Superior High School football head coach Bob DeMeyer believes he did just that as he begins his first year with the Spartans.
DeMeyer, who was head coach last season at Northwestern High School, has a staff of 13 coaches, including six returning from a team that finished last season with a 0-9 record.
Returning are Rick Kennelly, varsity assistant; Matt Krivinchuk, varsity, junior varsity assistant, offensive line, defensive ends; Charlie Law, fullbacks, linebackers; Phil Karaba, quarterbacks, split ends, defensive backs; Mike Weinandt, freshmen head coach; and Jim McKone, freshmen assistant, OL, defensive line, freshmen offensive coordinator and stat crew.
"Rick is a former Spartan who knows what it used to be like around here when the team was successful," DeMeyer said. "I wouldn't want to do it without him. He's been around for 23 years and there's nobody better than him.
"Matt is a student of the game and is taking on a lot more duties this year and there's nobody better than Charlie at his two positions."
New to the staff are Perky Hansen (varsity assistant), Rob Scott (JV head coach and varsity assistant), Rod Amys (JV and varsity assistant, SE), Andy Persons (assistant), and Tim Nelson (freshmen assistant).
"All of them are people I wanted to coach with me," DeMeyer said. "Perky loves Spartan football and loves coaching kids in general. Timmy was another one at the top of the my list. I wanted to get some former Spartans who were around when the program was at the top and knew what it took to get there."
The staff also includes Tom Lozon (OL, DL) and Buzz Johnson (assistant), both past coaches with the Spartans.
"It wasn't hard to get Tom back at all," DeMeyer said. "He's been involved with Superior football since Christ was a baby and Buzz is another former Spartan who coached here one year and with me at Northwestern."
Scott, also the SHS assistant baseball coach, played high school football at Wausau East and then played and coached at Mesabi Junior College.
"He's a student of the game," DeMeyer said. "He's got more books and videos (about football) and goes to every camp he can. He just loves football."
After playing high school football at Northwestern, Amys was the head coach of an eight-man team in Montana and Persons currently works at the YMCA.
"They're all fantastic," DeMeyer said. "They're not only knowledgeable when it comes to football, they're just good people. They're good with the kids, good role models and come here every day ready to work. They sure make my job a lot easier."
First week of practice
For the first time in Wisconsin, high school football coaches were able to run a four-day camp with their teams during the summer.
While full pads were used during the camps, teams weren't able to don full pads for the first three days when real practice began last week.
"We really felt good about how the camp went and at day one of practice we were expecting to pick up where we left off," DeMeyer said. "But not only did we have to take the pads off, we also had a lot of new kids that weren't at the camp so we took a few of steps backward.
"But now we've worked our way back and we're getting better each day. It's a learning process everyday for the kids and the coaches. We're teaching them things they've never learned before, on both sides of the ball."
The number of kids out this year are up a bit with 75 kids on the varsity and 35 on the freshmen team.
"I want to get both of those numbers up," DeMeyer said. "Ideally, I'd like to get the varsity numbers up to 100 and the freshmen team up to around 50."
While the Spartans held an intersquad game Saturday, DeMeyer will get to see his team in action for the first time at Friday's scrimmage at Lakeland High School in Minocqua.
The scrimmage begins at 3 p.m. with Superior going against Ashland. The Spartans will also face Lakeland and Rhinelander. Each scrimmage will consist of 20 plays on offense and 20 on defense.
"We've gotten a good portion of our offense in and the kids have been picking up on it pretty good," DeMeyer said. "What I'd like to see improvement on is the kids being more physical and the intensity level picking up. But that'll come. Right now they're concentrating on learning their new assignments and new techniques."
The scrimmage will also determine starting positions.
"Every position is wide open," DeMeyer said. "Some of the kids might think they have a position locked in, but they're all wide open."
Battling for the starting quarterback position are senior Nate Hendry and sophomore Joe Reichert. Hendry hasn't played football for a few years and Reichert played started on last year's freshmen and JV teams.
Last year's starting quarterback, senior Ben Lindberg, isn't out for this year's team.
"Ben suffered a number concussions last year," DeMeyer said. "We talked several times over the summer (about his playing) and his doctors advised against it. We also talked to his parents and they felt it wouldn't be a good thing to do, which I totally agree with."
There were thoughts of Lindberg playing split end, but that was also decided against.
Quote of the day
"We have a ton of speed," DeMeyer said. "I'm very impressed with that and their work ethic but we're very undersized -- big time. We're going to be much smaller than any team we face the entire season, but I'll take technique, toughness and speed over size any day. Especially if the kids with size don't work hard.
Meet and greet
The Spartans will hold a meet and greet at 7 p.m. Monday at Ole Haugsrud Field. The event is open to the public.
There will be a gate donation and concession stand available with proceeds going to the Rita Ronchi family. Ronchi, a Northwestern High School student/athlete, was recently seriously injured in a car accident.
"I'm encouraging the community to come out and get the know the players, take pictures and the kids can get autographs," DeMeyer said. "We also want to help out the Ronchi family. She was a student of mine when I was teaching at Northwestern."
Early registration for the Pony League Football (grades 6-8) will also take place.
The cost to play is $75.