Football Preview 2022: Power-driven Willmar Cards up front – West Central Tribune

WILLMAR — Whether on offense or defense, the Willmar Cardinals appear to be a powerful force this season.

With most of his starters returning on the defensive front seven and offensive line, Willmar looks to rise beyond his 6-3 mark in 2021.

“A lot of excitement around the football team as the 2022 season approaches,” said Cardinals head coach Jon Konold, who is 67-60 entering his 13th season. “Staying healthy and working hard will get the Cardinals into the mix in the tough North Central White District.”

Among the seven starters in the lineup, three veterans: defensive end Jacob Flannigan (39 tackles, two sacks), linebacker Mattix Swanson (120 tackles, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 interception) and cornerback Jacob Streed (35 tackles) they are anchors on the defensive end.

“Jacob is one of the strongest players in Cardinal football history,” Konold said. “His work ethic from him in the weight room has carried over to the football field. Jacob’s strength and speed make him one of the best defensive ends in the district.”

Willmar's Jacob Flannigan (left) drags Big Lake quarterback Tyler Anderson for a sack during a North Central White District game on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 at Hodapp Field in Willmar.

Willmar’s Jacob Flannigan (left) drags Big Lake quarterback Tyler Anderson for a sack during a North Central White District game on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 at Hodapp Field in Willmar.

Joe Brown/West Central Tribune

Konold added: “Mattix is ​​always around football making plays. His ability to diagnose plays and his speed of play make him one of the best in the district. … Whatever is asked of Jacob, he attacks change with incredible effort and a can-do attitude. In his third year playing college football and every year, he has changed positions.”

See also  LMVS 8 Hours of Bahrain: Dörr Esports' Redline and Project 1 lead at the halfway point

Defensive tackles Marlon Fernández-Muñoz and Maddox Bolstad help solidify the defensive front along with defensive end Jon Ritz. Linebacker Jaxxon Sjoberg will also be a name to watch.

Then on offense, a trio of juniors anchors the line with Hayden Venenga, Matthew Strey and Dylan Goblirsch. Drew Baumgarn, Noah Saue, Isaiah Iedema and Finley Donelan will compete for the final two starting spots.

They will lock down a new backfield that will try to replace quarterback Alex Schramm and running back Michael Price. Junior Cullen Gregory will replace Schramm at quarterback, while another junior, Ramero Treviño, will take on the lead role.

Willmar's Cullen Gregory (9) reacts after recovering a fumble in the first quarter of a North Central White District game against Chisago Lakes on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, at Hodapp Field in Willmar.

Willmar’s Cullen Gregory (9) reacts after recovering a fumble in the first quarter of a North Central White District game against Chisago Lakes on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, at Hodapp Field in Willmar.

Joe Brown/West Central Tribune

“This duo will be looking to make the running game explosive this year,” Konold said.

After catching 18 receptions for 251 yards and five touchdowns last year, Sam Raitz returns for his third year at wide receiver while working with another standout candidate in the last year, Justuce Gee. He will also play deep on defense.

“The sky is the limit for Sam Raitz,” Konold said. “He is one of the most dynamic athletes to have come through Cardinal Football.”

The season kicks off at Hodapp Field on Friday, September 2 against the St. Cloud Apollo.

Willmar sophomore running back Ramero Treviño looks to break to the outside during a rushing attempt in a Week 4 game against Sartell on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021 at Hodapp Field in Willmar.

Willmar sophomore running back Ramero Treviño looks to break to the outside during a rushing attempt in a Week 4 game against Sartell on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021 at Hodapp Field in Willmar.

Joe Brown/West Central Tribune

Willmar Cardinals 2022 Football Schedule

September 2 vs. St. Cloud Apollo, 7 p.m.
Sept. 9 vs. Hutchinson, 7 p.m.
September 16 at Big Lake, 7 p.m.
September 23 in Sartell, 7:00 p.m.
October 7 vs. Rocori, 7 p.m.
Sept. 30 vs. Delano, 7 p.m.
October 14 at Chisago Lakes, 7 p.m.
Oct. 19 at Becker, 7 p.m.

Willmar junior linebacker Mattix Swanson celebrates after recovering a fumble late in the second quarter of a Week 4 game against Sartell on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021, at Hodapp Field in Willmar.

Willmar junior linebacker Mattix Swanson celebrates after recovering a fumble late in the second quarter of a Week 4 game against Sartell on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021, at Hodapp Field in Willmar.

Joe Brown/West Central Tribune

Leave a Comment