The Antigo football program has had a tumultuous offseason. The Red Robins lost athletic director Tom Kislow to cancer, and there's the high-profile coaching change from John Lund to Matt Weberpal. Lund resigned from the job after being arrested and charged with drug possession. And now Weberpal is at the helm. But as the Red Robins take the practice field for the first time, their focus is between the lines.
"It's in the past, it's the furthest thing from the kids' minds right now," said new Antigo head coach Matt Weberpal. "We're looking at focusing on what we can control, and that's working hard in camp."
Some of the players said they feel the weight of the Antigo community.
"There's always pressure on our team all the time, but I think this year, it's a significant amount more," said Red Robins senior Luke Marten. "Just for the fact of everything that went on last year and I believe our team has that much more to work for."
"We're obviously going to be under the microscope a little bit this year from the community," said senior linebacker Erik Schielke. "But once we're playing football, we're playing football. We'll be fine."
On offense, Antigo will stick with the same Wing-T formation. But on defense, they're switching from a 5-2 scheme to a 4-3.
"I believe it's fitting us well, and I believe we'll be a force to be reckoned with," added Marten.
"Kind of been a slow go here at the start, but coach has been really helping us out," said Schielke. "I think it's going to be a pretty good defense this year."
"Being from Antigo - I went to school here - I know these guys are willing to put in the work it takes to reach our goals as a team," said coach Weberpal. "I knew right away we'd have the guys to put the time in."
Coach Weberpal is known to be more intense and emphasize hard work. Or, as they call it here, the Antigo way.
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