Waseca looking to bounce back in 2022

The Waseca football team was one win away from advancing to last year’s state tournament.
Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 5:50 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 17, 2022 at 7:58 PM CDT
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WASECA, Minn. (KEYC) - The Waseca football team was one win away from advancing to last year’s state tournament.

This year, the Bluejays are using the heartbreak as a learning experience.

”Super excited, I’ve been thinking about it since our team camp at SDSU. That was a little taste of what it would be like. Since that, I’ve been so excited to start and get into it,” said Max Neaves, Waseca senior running back/linebacker.

The Waseca Bluejays only suffered two losses this past season, both coming to the section champion Fairmont Cardinals. But the 27-6 loss in the section championship game to the Cards is something the team is using as motivation.

“We knew that this offseason, we were going to have to work hard. We did that, everyone knows what our goals are this season, that’s to go to the state championship and win it. We don’t show that we work, we do the work, it shows on the field,” said Oliver O’Brien, Waseca senior quarterback/defensive back.

On the field, Waseca’s depth and speed across the board should be on display with an experienced group of seniors.

“When you get into the game, that’s your chance to show what you can do, not just to this team, but the whole town really. Just go out there and show what you can do,” said Kyle Ahlschlager, Waseca senior running back/linebacker.

The Bluejays plan on putting on a show out there on the field as they’ve done in year’s past with a creative playbook on both sides of the ball.

“I think offensively we should be really balanced. We should be able to run, be able to pass. I’m hoping we can not only grind out long drives, but hit some long passes as well. Defensively, I think we’ll be fairly fast. That’ll help us to get after the quarterback because I think we have some guys that can cover,” said Brad Wendland, Waseca head coach.

The last time Waseca made a trip to US Bank Stadium came back in 2018 with a squad that could do exactly that. Bluejays senior Christian Rodriguez remembers that year well, when his older brother and quarterback Hunter Rodriguez and company gave SMB everything they could handle in the state semifinals.

“I was only an eighth grader. That was an awesome feeling to be there in the student section watching him and his friends play. That’s always the goal, I want to play on the field, go hard on the field, that’s the end goal for everyone that’s been there and watched that,” said Rodriguez, Waseca senior running back/linebacker.

The Bluejays first contest of the season is slated for Friday, September second against St. Peter.

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