Nick Fraenza had the difficult task of replacing the legendary Waverly Football head coach Mike Hevel a year ago. Fraenza, an assistant for several years under Hevel, stepped up to the opportunity and ran with it for the Waverly Bulldogs.
They finished 6-4 and returned to the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year in 2019.
The Bulldogs return five starters on each side of the ball this season. Key returners in that group include junior Damian Foster. The 1st Team Flex Lyon County League returns at quarterback and linebacker for the bulldogs.
Senior Zach Skillman leads the way up front on each side of the ball. Skillman was a first-team league selection on defense and second-team on offense in 2019.
Senior Michael Lehmann earned 2nd Team LCL Running Back honors a year ago. Along with the rest of the Bulldogs, the trio will look to replace the output from Chris Decker, an 8-Man All-Star selection, along with Ty Pope and Jolon Lacey from a year ago.
Waverly hopes to continue their storied tradition by advancing out of their district.
The Bulldogs join fellow Lyon County League member Southern Coffey County in addition to Three Rivers League members Colony-Crest, Altoona-Midway, St. Paul, and Chetopa in pursuit of a spot in the 8-Man II playoffs.
The matchup on October 9th at S. Paul should dictate the district champion. The Bulldogs were narrowly defeated by St. Paul last year in the playoffs, 18-28.
“We expect to be better every week. We might not win every game, but we will improve as the season goes along. Our goal is to win our district. When you win your district, you earn two playoff home games, and that is a huge advantage,” mentioned Fraenza on the 2020 outlook.
Waverly will open up the season with Lyon County League rival Marais des Cygnes Valley on September 4th.