Team: Guardian Angels Central Catholic
Colors: Blue and White
Head Coach: Dave Ridder (16th season)
2017 record: 8-1 (Lost to Pender in 1st round of Playoffs)
Returning Starters: 4 offense 4 defense
The Guardian Angels Central Catholic Football Team brings back half their starters from last year’s team that went 8-1, and was upset by Pender in the 1st round of the playoffs.
Senior All-State Running Back Jared Minnick (6’0, 185) returns for the Bluejays as does junior tailback Noah Hass (5’10, 160). Sophomores Cash Meier (5’9, 180) and Cody Steffen (6’0, 170) also look to be in the mix in the backfield for GACC.
Jadyn Smeal (5’10, 160) returns at wide receiver while the line is led by Junior Casey Doernemann (6’5, 260) with Blake Pojar (6’0, 190) returning at tight end.
Senior Will Kreikemeier (5’10, 200) and Junior Mitch Peatrowsky (6’0, 220) are also expected to see playing time up front for the Bluejays, and sophomore Ben Ulrich (6’3, 170) is expected to contribute at tight end.
Hass, Minnick, and Smeal will lead things at linebacker for GACC, and Pojar, Meier, and Ulrich will play safety.
Doernemann and Peatrowsky will help anchor the defensive line.
Andrew Franzluebbers (5’11, 210) and Tyson Snodgrass were lost to injury at the South Dakota Fall Contact Camp.
Jack Baumert is out as a senior this year.
Head Coach Dave Ridder says there’s some good young talent on the team this year. He expects the Bluejays to be strong at linebacker and at defensive end.
When asked if the Pender loss adds fuel to the fire and if the Bluejays are using it as motivation, Ridder said no. “Injuries played a key part in that game, and a few other things happened that are out of our control so we don’t mention that game because it’s obviously in the past, and we need to build on the experience we have, and we have a lot of kids coming back as far as talent wise and also experience, which is very, very vital, in my opinion, when it comes to Football.”
Bob Jensen says the loss to the Pendragons really impacted the Bluejay program. “That upset to Pender that kind of rocked the program a little bit. When you’re used to winning and you’ve been a state champion and what not, you don’t expect to lose a game like that. And I suspect that’s truly you talk about fueling the fire and what not I am sure that’s in the back of those kids’s head, and trying to maybe make good if you will.”
Guardian Angels Central Catholic looks to reload and make another run at another state championship this season.
The Bluejays are in District D1-4 with Wisner-Pilger, Wakefield, Winnebago, Homer, and Omaha Nation.
Ridder says his team is focusing on one thing at a time. “It’s always about trying to win every down, and then win every quarter, and then win the game. That’s always been our goal. Obviously that’s something that doesn’t happen all the time, but if you try to take everything one play a time it kind of takes a little pressure off the kids as far as who they’re playing. Just do your technique and do your job and if you do your best that’s all we can ask.”
The Bluejays open up the season next Friday at East Butler.
2018 Guardian Angels Central Catholic Bluejays Football Schedule:
08/24/18 @ East Butler
08/31/18 @ Howells-Dodge
09/07/18 Omaha Brownell Talbot
09/28/18 @ Omaha Nation
10/19/18 @ Winnebago