Former longtime Wonewoc Center head coach John Benish will take over in 2018 more than a decade after he last coached at Wonewoc Center. Now a co-op program for the past two years, the Silverwolves will work towards the program's first-ever playoff berth.
That would be history in itself since Wonewoc Center has never made the playoffs, although Weston has been in the postseason 15 times, most recently in 2015.
Coach Benish resumes the role he left after 2007, spending time in Reedsburg's program working for Brian Pottinger as an assistant in the interim. Benish will find a roster that is light on seniors (only three on the early version of the roster), but heavy on incoming juniors and sophomores, and a group that brings back a good deal of experience from last season.
Leading passer, rusher, tackler, kicker, and punter from 2017, Quintin Peasel, graduated, which means that there's already big opportunities for the large 2020 and 2021 classes in the program to step into. In fact, on offense, the top three rushers from last season have all moved on. The leading returning rushers, Mike Severson, Hunter Helt, Brad West, Tanner Sandifer, Kaden Sprotte, and Monty Jennings, still accounted for over a third of the rushing yards by the Silverwolves last season, so the cupboard isn't bare at the position.
With only 23 completed passes in 2017, the receiver group will miss leading target Harrison Boland, who graduated after snaring 16 of those 23 completions, but it's not a large part of the offense. Up front, the roster has several two-way linemen with varsity experience, including tackle Dylan Degner, a senior, and junior Jake Wagner.
On defense, Wagner finished second on the team in tackles from the lineman position, and led in tackles for a loss last year, and even had an interception. Hunter Helt added the fifth-best tackle total on the team, and he'll be joined by Brady McGlynn in the defensive backfield, who had the team's other interception last season (as well as finishing seventh in tackles in 2017). Brad West and Hayden Van Coulter racked up a decent amount of tackles as well from the linebacker spot, and should see more opportunities in 2018.
Special teams will be an open position with Peasel's graduation and nobody else last year attempting a punt or kick, but in the return game, Helt and McGlynn were credited with returns last year.
Benish coached the Wonewoc Center program "for over 30 years" according to the release put out by the football team. While we were not able to find a full career record or biography for Coach Benish, we did add up the record from the last 30 years of his coaching tenure.
Here is the team's release about bringing back former Wonewoc Center AD and longtime football coach John Benish to lead the program:
Wonewoc Center/Weston Silverwolves - Ridge & Valley
Head Coach: John Benish (31st Season, 1st in current stint), 84-177 (1978-2007 record only; we were unable to determine the exact length of Benish's coaching tenure or the team's records prior to 1978)
2017 Result: 1-8 (1-5), 5th in the Ridge & Valley
Three-Year Record: 4-23
2017 All-Conference Honors: 0 First-Team, 2 Second-Team, 0 Honorable Mention (2 total)
Three-Year All-Conference Totals: 1 First-Team, 7 Second-Team, 0 Honorable Mention (8 total)
Returning All-Conference Players (0): None.
Other Players To Watch: FB/DL Tanner Sandifer, Sr.; T/DT Dylan Degner, Sr.; WR Adrian Jangard, Sr.; OL/DL Jake Wagner, Jr.; QB/DB Monty Jennings, Jr.; RB/DB/ST Hunter Helt, Jr.; FB/LB Brad West, Jr.; CB Riley Astle, Jr.; OL/DL Austin Bennett, Jr.; RB/DB/ST Brady McGlynn, Jr.; QB Hunter Schmitt, So.; RB Mike Severson, So.; RB Kaden Sprotte, So.; LB/OL Hayden Van Coulter, So.; OL/DL Braeden Richardson, So.; OL/DL A.J. Wilcox, So.
BIG Games: at Kickapoo/La Farge, August 31; vs Riverdale, September 14; vs North Crawford, October 12