New-look Storm hope to find consistency
By Josh Staloch
KEWAUNEE – A quick look at last season’s numbers for the Kewaunee Storm football team is enough to make the eyes widen considerably.
A 56-8 road victory over Marinette in Week three, followed immediately by a 49-0 win against Oconto are among that squad’s regular season blowout victories, which were capped off by a 53-0 win at home against the Peshtigo Bulldogs in Mid-October.
The postseason saw more of the same to start.
Kewaunee upended Sturgeon Bay at home 71-6 and then took care of Kiel 27-0 and Southern Door 15-12 before falling to Aquinas (La Crosse) 44-19.
“We have some key guys returning this year, which is nice,” said Storm head coach Randy Charles, now in his eighth season leading the team. “We definitely lost a few big starters in some key positions but we have some players with at least a little bit of experience who will be able to step in and fill some of those positions.”
A big part of last season’s success was quarterback Mitchell Thompson, who will be playing football at Minnesota State University-Mankato this season.
With only a couple days of practice remaining before the team’s season opener at Kiel, coach Charles said he was still undecided as to who would be under center in week one.
“We’ve got a couple of guys that are going to kind of battle it out,” he said. “So we’ll see how that goes over the next couple of days of practice and make a decision and it might not be made until the day before we start.”
With that said, coach Charles is quick to point out that the offense is going to feature some strength along the line, making it easier for whomever gets the nod at quarterback, and running back DJ Echols brings beneficial experience to the attack. Other names for the Kewaunee offense this season will be receivers Jake Ihlenfeldt; Mitchell VanGoethem; Thomas Stangel, Zach Kittleson and Maddix Mueller.
Defensively, Kewaunee will play a 3-3 stack, which has served them well in the past.
Moving on from the success of last season, 2023-24’s version of the Storm is going to keep its focus on whomever is on the schedule next and not get ahead of itself.
“One game at a time,” coach Charles said of his team’s overall philosophy to being successful this season. “We’ve got some new guys and we want to make sure they stay focused on what’s in front of them. The team has to work on the daily tasks that it takes to be successful and also continue to improve.”