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Hornets energy, intensity impressive in scrimmage
A Hornet ball carrier hurdles a fallen Adams-Friendship player during Saturdays scrimmage. - photo by Erik Olson

RICHLAND CENTER - The Richland Center Hornets will open the 2011 football season Friday night with a non-conference battle against the Westby Norsemen at Westby starting at 7 p.m.

New Hornet coach Greg Schoepp said he and his team are anxious to start the season following a scrimmage with Lodi, Clinton and Adams-Friendship Saturday.

Schoepp offered mixed opinions of the performance. “I felt we held our own,” he said. “Our defense was definitely better than our offense.”

He wasn’t saying he was totally satisfied. “We found some things that we need to work on,” he said. “I didn’t expect it would be much different. We ran a limited number of plays and defensive schemes. I believe we learned we need to improve our techniques. I believe the mistakes we made were fixable.”

Schoepp said his players demonstrated plenty of energy and intensity. “Now we’ll look for progress, week-to-week,” he said.

Turning his attention to Westby, Schoepp said the scouting report indicates the Norsemen “come off the ball well." They incurred some losses due to graduation including running back Dillon Bean who had some big games against the Hornets the past two seasons. Tyler Ihrcke is among the running backs returning while Brad Raasch returns in the line.

Schoepp said his probable starters will include offensively Cody Mueller and Chris Doudna at the ends, Josh Jones and Logan Schmidt at the tackles, Jace Simonson, Darrin Mott or Alec Adsit at guards, Cole Dobbs at center. Senior Todd Wienkes will start at quarterback with Kory Stevens at fullback. Anthony Rider and Matt Nelson will operate at tailback position with Evan Ewing as the wingback.

Many will also be playing on defense while Schoepp attempts to develop skills and depth.

Adsit, Schmidt, Stevens, Simonson, Mueller and Xavier Moen figure to see action in the defensive line. Mott, Doudna and John Hassell will be the linebackers with Nelson, Ewing, Wienkes and Sam Helmuth as the top candidates in the defensive backfield.

Wienkes may do the punting, and either he or Lance Cook may do the placekicking.