As the season continues, Greenwave football is on the fence at 1-1 and football coach Brooke Hill is looking to tip the scales against Wooster tonight at 7 p.m. in Reno.
“Wooster is an improved team,” Hill said. “They won their first game convincingly, and then they went up to Elko and Elko won 42-0, but it’s not easy to go up to Elko and play. We’re going up to their place, and they’re going to be excited. Wooster’s always given us problems, and we’re definitely not going to overlook them.”
Though Hill recognized Wooster as the next obstacle for the team, he also noted that the Wave already hit the ground running against Truckee in their second game of the season, citing Truckee as “the team to beat in our league” and spelling good omens for the new juniors and veteran seniors as they find their groove.
“Some of our younger guys coming up from J.V. have been doing a really nice job,” he said when asked about the integration of the younger players with the veterans. “Cade Vercellotti playing receiver for us actually got a little time in the back (field) last week and had a really strong game for us. He’s doing some really nice things for us throughout the year on the offensive side. We’ve seen some things from Connor Nelson and Dalton Kaady in our secondary. They’re meshing well with our older guys, our experienced seniors that are back. We’ve got some pretty good team cohesiveness going on.”
One of the strongest aspects in favor for this team is the legacy carried on the backs of its leaders, since the seniors have known a winning streak in their first years, according to Hill.
“We won 10 games last year, went to the state semi-finals. Some of them (seniors), as I said, are in their third year, so they were there two years ago for the state title game. So this group has a lot of experience winning going all the way back to their youth football days where they won, and I think they went four or five years without losing a game.”
Though Hill wasn’t reluctant to boast the team’s recent years on top, he acknowledged that one of the biggest hurdles for this team to overcome, in his opinion, would be not to rely on their reputation as a mindset.
“Like I said, I think the whole league has improved,” he said, “but I think with our team, a lot of people base things on what we’ve done in the past and we’ve had a lot of success the past three-to-four years in this program. With our team, it’s just to focus on us. We can do nothing about the past, and the past has nothing to do with us. So we’re our own individual team, so if we just accomplish and reach our goals as a team then we ought to be pretty darn good.”
While the Wave is traditionally and systematically a run-first pistol team with a zone-blocking scheme, Hill noted that this year’s team would continue to tweak their strengths like in years past with a special attention to passing this year.
“You can see we’re throwing the ball a little bit more this year, not to say we haven’t in the past because we’ve had some tremendous players in the past for us. We’re trying to balance a little more in that way and get the ball outside a little bit quicker,” Hill said. “In terms of how I approach each team psychologically, every team’s different in that way too. Some teams it doesn’t take a lot of motivation, some teams it takes a little bit more, and this seems to be a group that’s had a lot of success over the years and they’re not that difficult to motivate.
“They kind of know how to win. That doesn’t mean we just walk out there and it happens, but they’re starting to learn as the year goes on that we’ve got to have a consistent effort every day on the practice field.”
When asked if this is a team Hill could see on its way to state, the veteran coach said the team would keep focus on the ‘here and now ‘with more contenders than just Wooster on the horizon.
“We take it as always, game by game, and our biggest game is Wooster this week,” Hill said. “Once we get past Wooster we’ll look onto the next game, but we really keep our focus on the opponent ahead and we want to play our absolute best.
“I think this year’s definitely going to be a dogfight. Almost everybody’s improved.”