Viroqua High School football team 2019

Members of the 2019 Viroqua High School football team include: (front, from left) Gavin Goss, Ethan Dobbs, Jackson Hoyum, Carter Williams, Austin Winker, Ethan Mather, AJ Dipietro, Breckin Petersen, Spencer Otto, Levi Groom; (middle) Austin Holmes, Brody Steele, Kaden Hansen, Aaron Dobbs, Sean Wagemester, Bretton Anderson, Terence Wallace, Riley Prinz, Peyton Hanson, Blaine Conaway, Cale Anderson, Ethan Solberg; (third row) Nick Schneider, Drew Fortney, Zach Lohr, Paul Nickelotti, Dalton Hardy, Austin Christianson, Alex Jacobson, Isaac Berg, Kullen Eckert, Keenan Hanson, Austin Barnett and Jared Anderson. Missing:  Garry Mishler Even Bekkum and Jake Curti.

The Viroqua High School football team is under the guidance of a new head coach this season — Duane Skalecki.

Skalecki been an assistant coach for three years in in Viroqua, and has 11 years total under his belt.

The Blackhawks were 2-3 in conference and 5-4 overall in 2018.

“Our goal is to improve upon last year, and continue to have a more balanced offensive attack,” Skalecki said.

Skalecki has a positive outlook for the 2019 season. “I believe we have a promising outlook on our season. Weight room and camp attendance has been better than in the past.”

The team lost three key positions to graduation — WR/DB Andrew Wedwick, WR/DB Sam Jett and DL/TE Christian Schneider. Top returning players for the upcoming season include QB/DB Drew Fortney, TE/LB Alex Jacobson and OL Austin Christianson.

What does the coach see as his team’s strengths this season? “We have good team chemistry. Our players enjoy working hard for each other.”

Where are the team’s weaknesses and biggest challenges?

“Our biggest challenge this season will be fully integrating a new offensive system,” Skalecki said. “We started to become more of an I formation team last year, but it will still take some time on the field and noses in the playbooks to get our offense producing like we want it to.”

Viroqua football is in the Southwest Wisconsin Conference (SWC) this season with Arcadia, Dodgeville, Platteville, Prairie du Chien, Richland Center, River Valley and Westby.

“Being in a new conference this year, it is hard to know who will be our biggest challenge,” Skalecki said. “There are a lot of quality programs we will face.”

Skalecki will be assisted this season by Eric Anderson, Joel Anderson, Tom Lohr and Carl Zube.

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Vernon County Broadcaster editor

Angie Cina is editor of the Vernon County Broadcaster. Contact her at 608-637-5616.

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