By Tom Nader
Publisher and Editor
(9th year, 23-59 career record)
Coaching Staff: Jeff Sharkey, defensive coordinator; Corey Rakes, offensive and defensive lines; Luke Hakin, wide receivers and outside linebacker; Tyler Brown, wide receivers and defensive backs.
2022 Record: 3-7 overall.
Returning Lettermen (15): Dakota Finney, sr.; Trisjin Kaley Dolan, sr.; Aidan King, sr.; Bobby Harouff, sr.; Jayden Hakin, sr.; Nathan Roberts, sr.; Cody Enk, sr.; Austin Hurst, jr.; Aric May, jr.; Landon McClain, jr.; Matthew Ralston, jr.; Bradyn Robinson, jr.; Luke Thomas, jr.; Nolan Hamilton, soph.; Xavier Rebecchi, soph.
Lettermen Lost (10): Justin Fox, Aidan Hall, Jake Hermann, Evan Kugler, Jacob Kunka, Chance Moore, Edgar Paulino, Owen Plymale, Spencer Shepherd, Austin Wise.
Getting the team’s athletes in space will be the priority, with Devies reporting that his Vikes will work out of a compact spread set.
The team’s top two rushers from last season return to give the Vikings’ offense some electricity this season in Jayden Hakin and Bobby Harouff.
Hakin was fourth in Portage County a year ago with his 1,178 yards rushing. He did it in 206 carries for an average of 5.7 yards per carry, and he scored 15 touchdowns.
Hakin also completed 32-of-70 passes for 488 yards and five touchdowns.
Between his passing and rushing outputs, Hakin accounted for 1,666 yards and 120 points (accounting for 58 percent of the team’s 207 points scored for the entire season).
Harouff rushed for 196 yards last season.
Jeffrey Hahn provides depth for the Vikings.
Harouff will also spend time at running back, while Aric May, Luke Thomas, Landon McClain, Austin Hurst and Keyshawne Anderson will all get opportunities as ball-carriers this season.
The push at the line of scrimmage will be created by the group of Bradyn Robinson, Nathan Roberts, Aidan King, Brandon Reakes, Joey Ortega, Brandon Moore, Xavier Rebecchi, Gavin McClinsey and Seth Feciuch.
Waterloo’s top receiver in 2022 came out of the backfield, with Harouff pulling in 188 yards with his nine receptions.
Anticipate that the returning senior lettermen to be a part of the aerial options again this season, along with Dakota Finney, Matthew Ralston, Kai Warren, Cody Enk, Landon McClain and Trisjin Kaley Dolan will be in the mix.
Waterloo will set up in a 3-3 attacking style defense.
Four of the team’s top-five tacklers from last year all graduated (Justin Fox, Aiden Hall, Evan Kugler and Jake Hermann totaling 188 tackles in 2022), with the one returning top-tackler returning being Harouff.
The group of Finney, Thomas, Hurst, Kaley Dolan and King will make up the team’s linebackers.
Many of the same names that will make out the team’s offensive line will pull double-duty and play on the defensive line as well, including Roberts, Reakes, Ortega, Moore, Rebecchi, McClinsey, Hakes and Feciuch.
Of the team’s returning players, Harouff had the most tackles in 2022 with 46, and will be a key component in the secondary again this year. He also led the team with two interceptions last year.
Joining him in the defensive backfield will be McClain, Ralston, Warren, Hakin, May and Hamilton.
Keyshawne Anderson, Brandon Rakes, Jeffrey Hahn.
“Our lack of depth on the offensive and defensive lines,” Devies said.