Wildcats battle through a tough season

Millard West football goes 1-6 this year


Tenley Wright

Senior linebacker Brecken Wallace and senior defensive lineman Tyler Jett discuss the next plan for defense. “All year being a leader on the field and trying to control the defense was my job.” Jett said. Millard West faces Millard South this Friday in the second round of the playoffs.

Noah Walls, Staff Reporter

An unexpected injury early this year set the Wildcats back, when starting senior quarterback Jacob Jones was left sidelined with a knee injury for the remainder of the season. Losing your starting quarterback is never beneficial for the team especially after a long summer preparing for this season all led by him. More injuries approached the team when senior runningback Zach Coleman was also ruled out for the year with a leg injury. Two main factors for the offense were out and the Wildcats had their whole season still ahead.

The younger guys always have to be ready because at any time they could get called up and this year is a perfect example. The team changed quarterbacks multiple times throughout the season, senior Tristan Harms weeks two and three, sophomore Brady Brau weeks four and five, then freshman Brody Peterson recently. The offense has tried to find their flow to be able to score all season and now more than ever they need it most in the playoffs. This year scoring for the team, especially late in the game, has been a challenge as the offense just can’t punch it in. In the season finale Brody Peterson ran the option offense exceptionally well and had the ball driving for most of the game. Some could say it’s too late in the season to just now start playing well, but as everyone in Class A makes the playoffs maybe it was just perfect timing for a turn around to save this year for Wildcat football

“Getting moved from back-up to starting quarterback to wide receiver has been a crazy time,” Brau said. “This season has been all about just playing where I can to help the team anyway possible.”

Through the past seven weeks the team has grinded through the new measures involving the pandemic and the usual football challenges. With various sets of rules every week the team has made it safe and still productive. The defense has had troubles this year with preventing long passes and big runs. Through seven games in the regular season, 189 points were allowed compared to our 126 on offense. Millard West has had one of the toughest schedules in a while with having to face Bellevue West, Millard South, and Elkhorn South. Big wide receiver plays were made all year on the secondary for the Wildcats, but the run game was mostly held within short yardage.

“This season was tougher than in the past, we have a younger team but we still did our job,” senior Linebacker Brecken Wallace said. “Towards the end of the season our team has really come together and we’re getting better together.”

From different offenses to change in defensive coverages the Wildcats have struggled to pull it all together. 1-6 on the year is the school’s worst record in the past 15 years through seven games. The team is young and injuries set the back quite a bit this year. Next year as the team progressively creates more chemistry the team could have a great season. For this year the team still has their eyes on the final destination.

“Even though this hasn’t been our best season I haven’t seen any of our players quit or give up and I believe that’s important for a team,” junior Lineman Nate Raymond said. “We still have a shot and our season won’t end without a fight.”

Finishing strong is the goal for the Wildcats and making a run for state. Millard West beat Bellevue East in the first round 47-20 and had their best showing as a team all year. In round two the Wildcats face Millard South again and see if they can take over on the second time around. Defense will be important for this game and stopping any big plays that Millard South can make. The team is still putting trust into Brody Peterson and they hope they can execute just as well once again. Throughout a tough fought season a good run in the playoffs would definitely be a confidence booster for Millard West.