Rose excited for season to begin - Republic-Times | News

Rose excited for season to begin

By on August 23, 2012 at 2:31 am

By MARK HODAPP – Sports Editor 

To view the Waterloo football preview video, click here.

Three days and counting.

After an opening two weeks of two-a-day practices and an inner-squad scrimmage, the season starts for real Friday for the Waterloo High School football team.

It can’t get here soon enough for Bulldogs coach Dan Rose and his players.

This year, Rose is hoping to improve on last year’s 6-4 record.

“We still have a lot of things to work on,” he said. “You remember when you start practice how you looked at the end of last year.

“We are progressing. We are still adding a few more wrinkles to our offense and defense. Hopefully, we are ready for week one.”

This Friday, Waterloo will open their season playing at Freeburg.

Rose said his team might be a little quicker than last year’s bunch.

The veteran coach believes his team is counting on his offense, defense and special teams to contribute this fall.

“We do have a lot of kids,” he said, noting the club will be comprised of 52 juniors and seniors.

“We have to make sure  we are progressing with those upperclassmen.”

The club returns 19 seniors and 30 some juniors.

This might be one of most versatile teams the Bulldogs have had on offense in recent years.

Senior Arik Bueltman is expected to start at quarterback. Bueltman transferred to WHS in January from Edwardsville High School. He has a big arm and started at Edwardsville previously.

Drake Augustine will see action on both sides of the play field. Augustine, who is arguable Waterloo’s best football player, plays strong safety on defense and quarterback on offense.

Jackson Jennings will start the season at fullback.

Riley Minnaert, Taylor Vernier, Rick Wiegand and Augustine will play running back.

“We have enough people we can get people in and out,” Rose said.

Waterloo also has a number of athletic wide receivers. Ethan Ruff will start the season because Justin Kretchmer will miss the first two games because of an off-season, off-field infraction.

Austin Campbell will also see action at wide receiver.

Three out of the five internal offensive linemen have returned, and Clayton Bourgeois will start at tight end.

Brad Nieman, who also has to sit out two games for an off-field incident, Tyler McIver, Denis Wilson and Scott Dawson will start on the offensive line.

“We have some kids who saw a lot of playing time back this year.”

On defense, the Bulldogs will have a number of players playing defensive line including Zack George, Dawson, Wilson McIver and Devin Rice, who has taken over the left tackle position. Rice is 6-2 and about 300 pounds.

Waterloo will be equally strong at linebacker with Jennings, Bourgeois and Vernier.

Reid Hoffman, Grant Schneider will also see action at linebacker.

Two seniors — Aaron Bommarito and Cameron Watters — anchor a athletic defensive backfield. Junior Colton Hearty will start at free safety, while Augustine will start at strong safety.

“Drake is a big part of what we are doing,” Rose said.

Overall, Rose calls his bunch a “solid team.”

“As far as performance, that remains to be seen,” he said. “We can talk about how athletic we are. But until we play, you really don’t know. It’s a matter of us getting on the field to see what we are made of and find our own identity and getting that identity where we want to be.”

Waterloo will play seven games on Astro Turf this season, with Civic Memorial and Mater Dei being the only games played on grass.

Waterloo will also play Mississippi Conference nemesis, Triad, at the Edward Jones Dome on Sept. 15, in St. Louis.

“Not too long ago, it was cool to have painted lines,” Rose said. “Now, we are playing seven out of our nine games on the turf.”

Rose said his bunch needs to win at least six of their nine games to make the playoffs.

“We will have to play those nine games like there is an obstacle in your way,” he said.

“We have to remove at least six of those obstacles along the way.”

Teryn Schaefer

Teryn was born and raised in Waterloo, growing up watching local sports and Mon-Clair baseball. She is a graduate of the University of Missouri Journalism School and loves cheering on her Tigers any chance she gets.