Linemen hope to spark Wildcats

EVART — If games are to be won or lost at the line of scrimmage this season, the Evart Wildcats plan on putting some talented players in the forefront.

Joshua Renne, is a senior offensive and defensive tackle for the Wildcats who will also play some guard duty for Evart.

Last season, the Wildcats finished at 4-5.

“I think we did OK but we could have done better,” Renne said. “I started a couple of games.”

He’s expected to be an improved lineman this year.

“I’m definitely quicker, I’m moving to a new position where I have to be quick,” Renne said.

The Wildcats hope to make the playoffs, he indicated. Teams that win six games or more automatically qualify.

“We have to be disciplined and have ball control,” he said.

Another key lineman for the Wildcats will be Samuel Hazen, an offensive and defensive tackle. He started every game when he was healthy last year. He had to recover from a head concussion sustained in a car accident but has fully recovered.

During the summer, Hazen tried to work on football as much as possible.

“I feel I’m stronger,” he said. “I’m about the same size but I’m more muscular. I think the line will be able to hold its own.”

At 6-foot, 220, Hazen is confident in his ability to move players on the other side of the line.

“If we’re disciplined, I think we can do pretty good,” he said.

The Wildcats and coach Pat Craven opened the season with a midnight practice on Monday for a 90-minute session at the football field.

“Then we came over here and stayed in the gym (overnight),” he said.

The Wildcats have around 53 players in practices this week for the varsity and JVs.

“We’re always trying to get more,” Craven said. “Personally, I believe that in a school our size, we should have 70 kids in our football program. That’s my goal. I want to have 70 kids suited up. We’ll keep working towards that.”

Players put the pads on Thursday.

“We’re working hard with technique and fundamentals and hitting a lot of dummies and doing a lot of footwork,” Craven said.

Evart will be hosting a scrimmage on Aug. 19.