Wiggins vs. Valley
Thursday, September 2 @ 7:00pm
Dalton Risner Jersey Retirement Night
|Football State Titles
|(1) 1999 (Runner Up – 2011)
|(0) Runner Up – 1978 & 1982
|21 Personnel; Spread
|Head Coach Mitch Risner
|Head Coach Scott Leffler
|11th year as head coach at Wiggins
|2nd year as the head coach at Valley
|13th year as a high school football coach
|13th year as a high school football coach
|Players to Watch:
|QB: Cole Kerr, Jr.
|WR: Gio Mendoza, Sr.
|TE: Trey Fehseke, Jr.
|RB: Colin Brown, Sr.
|LB: Mohamed Ibrahim, Sr.
|DT: Aidan Trujillo, Sr.
|DT: Laith Ibrahim, Jr.
|MLB: Blake Herrman, Jr.
Quotes from Wiggins Head Coach Mitch Risner:
Expectations heading into the 2021 football season
MR: We played in the fall of 2020 but getting ready for this year felt more normal. We only have three seniors, so we are a junior and sophomore heavy team. We're very young and that's a challenge but also exciting. I do believe that we are a playoff caliber team. My expectations, regardless of year, are always very high. The upperclassmen that we have, have put in the work but they've taken their lumps along the way as well. These juniors and seniors are starting to come into their own and it's exciting to see all of their hard work start to pay off on the field. There's a big difference between confidence and arrogance, and we're trying to build up that confidence with all of our players.
Thoughts after their week one victory over Highland
MR: We played Highland last week, which is a big physical team, ranked 10 in our classification. Very proud of how we came out and played. We played with discipline and won the penalty battle. We sustained some long drives and also proved that we could strike quickly which is always nice to see. We want to be able to grind it out with our offensive line, but feel we have the talent on the edge as well if we need a big play. We did lose the turnover battle which is never good, but we were able to overcome those mistakes. We're a run first team and wants to control the line of scrimmage first and foremost. We have a ton to work on but that's what makes it fun.
Thoughts on their week two opponent, the Valley Vikings
MR: You know, we're not familiar with Valley. We've never played the Vikings before. They are 2A school so they're in the classification above us. A win would be huge for our team, but I don't think a loss would hurt us too bad in the RPI. It will be a big challenge for us though. We'll need to find a way to get off the field on third down when we're on defense and we'll need to control the line of scrimmage when we have the ball. They like to throw the ball so our pass defense will be challenged and will have to come up big. But I think it's a winnable game. Size wise, I think it's pretty even. We'll do what we do, control the clock and keep it low scoring and ugly if we have to. They're the only 2A opponent on our schedule so it will be a great test for sure.
Thoughts on his son, Dalton Risner, having his jersey retired on Thursday night
MR: Yeah, its always fun when we can get a little extra attention out here. Whether it's 9news or Maxpreps, it makes you feel like you're doing something right when our 1A games can draw a little buzz. Thursday will be special, but I'm going to keep my head geared toward winning our game. At halftime, when Dalton has his ceremony, I'll try to peak over there a little bit, but my priority will be to help this team get a W. That will be my primary focus. It will be a very special night for this town, for Dalton, for our family, but I need to make sure that my team gets everything from me that they need and deserve. I have a former coach handling Dalton's ceremony so I know that will be done right and it will be special.
Quotes from Valley Head Coach Scott Leffler:
Expectations as the 2021 football season kickoffs
SL: We're very excited! We played last fall in 2020 but we're very excited about this upcoming season. We had a lot of participation with our strength and conditioning program and had 25 to 30 kids out there almost every day. We got a lot of great work in with our 7-on-7 and just hope that the work and effort that these players put in can pay off this fall. With the season here, just trying to transfer that hard work and excitement into winning Vikings football.
Thoughts after their week one loss at Steamboat
SL: Tough game and a lot of travel. It's a four-hour drive one way and those trips are always a little difficult to manage. Steamboat played well so credit to them. We had some struggles on offense, especially with our blocking schemes, but we'll get those fixed as the season moves along. We have some very young offensive linemen this year and we're still gelling as a unit. But we fought hard for 48 minutes, and the game was close until we threw a pick six in the fourth quarter.
Thoughts on their week two opponent, the Wiggins Tigers
SL: They have some big boys up front that will pose a challenge. And on both sides, they have players who can just change a game. They can pound the ball, and they want to pound the ball, but they can also sling it. We'll need to be disciplined on defense for four quarters. And when we're on offense, we'll need to keep our eye on number 57. Their middle linebacker is all over the field. We'll need to get our running game going and then take our shots down field when the time is right. Wiggins took it to Highland last week so they'll be a tough matchup for us this Thursday. Looking forward to it.
Team goals for this season
SL: We are sitting on a big drought of playoff football for this program. We haven't been to the postseason since 2005 so we're due. So that's where our focus is right now. Play well enough during the regular season to earn a spot in the postseason. With our league, we're hoping to finish in the top three. It's a great league with some great teams like Sterling, Platte Valley and Brush. But we feel that if we can finish in the top 3, we can sneak into the postseason and go from there.