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HS Football Preview: Wildcats ready to defend their conference title

River Falls (WQOW) — The Wildcats won their first Big Rivers conference championship in school history, and are ready to do it again in 2019.

Head coach David Crail enters his third season with River Falls, and returns four starters on offense and three on defense. It’s the Wildcats final season in the BRC, as they make the move to the Mississippi Valley conference in 2020. Their focus though is on this season, and their carrying a lot of momentum into week one.

“Last year’s success was great, and it was another building block for us,” says Crail. “But we’ve tried really hard to keep that in perspective, and continue to build on that success. We enjoyed it certainly, there’s some fun memories to talk about. But we need to be able to look forward, and continue to build on what we’re trying to do.”

River Falls has the tall order of replacing one of the best quarterbacks in the state last year, Logan Graetz. But the door is open for senior Peter Noreen to take over the office, and he’s ready for the challenge.

“It’s definitely going to be difficult, because in some ways it does feel like you’re following in his footsteps,” says Noreen, who was an all-conference defensive back in 2018. “But I think I have my own strengths that Logan didn’t, and I think I can capitalize on those.”

“He’s stepped up a ton, and he’s an unbelievable athlete. I mean he’s our all-conference safety from last year, and he comes and plays quarterback now,” says senior tight end/outside linebacker Joe Stoffel. “For him to know that we’re there for him, he just throws the ball up somewhere and we can come down with it.”

The Wildcats open the season on the road, taking on New Richmond in a non-conference game on August 23rd.

Collin Talbert

Collin Talbert is the sports director at WQOW News 18. He joined News 18 in June 2018 as our weekend sports anchor as was promoted to sports director in November 2018.

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