Football schedule could mean more success

RP sports editor predicts lots of wins for 2019 Warhawk football team

Tyler Job, Sports Editor

The Warhawk football team released its schedule for the 2019 season April 22, and a lot of it involves much familiarity from last year.

UW-W starts off the year against the University of Dubuque [Iowa] and Concordia-Moorhead College [Minn.], except the venues flip-flop this time around.

Whitewater’s season opener against Dubuque is the first opening-day home game since 2016, when the Warhawks took down the College of New Jersey 51-3.

The Warhawks then travel to Concordia-Moorhead and Saint Xavier University [Ill.] the next two weeks before having their bye week. UW-W finally returns home Oct. 5 to open the WIAC season against UW-Eau Claire.

As per usual, Whitewater will take part in seven conference games, but should be the heavy favorite.

UW-W hosts four conference games against the Blugolds, UW-Platteville, UW-La Crosse and UW-Stout.

With the Warhawks a near unstoppable force at Perkins Stadium combined with the talent returning, they should win all of those games.

Whitewater’s three away WIAC games take place in Stevens Point, River Falls before heading to Oshkosh in the regular season finale.

The Warhawks have owned the Pointers and Falcons for quite a while, with the Titans being more of a thorn in the Warhawks’ side the last several years.

The finale game against the Titans will undoubtedly be UW-W’s toughest test coming up this season, and it would not completely surprise me if UW-Oshkosh takes that one.

But there’s no reason to think Whitewater should not be the favorite that game, either. Remember, UW-W handily took care of the Titans last season at home in a 20-0 shutout.

The Warhawks were nearly invincible all of last season, finishing 13-1 with their only loss coming in the national semifinals to the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, 31-14.

UW-W will be a top-ranked team in the preseason rankings, but their success against all of these upcoming teams will depend on two key aspects–the defense and quarterback play.

The defense lost its two captains in Harry Henschler and Bryce Leszczynski, along with veterans Bailey Breunig and Famus Hasty.

But it does have a plethora of experience returning with Jacob Erbs, Nate Tranel and Mark McGrath among those headlining the defense.

Cole Wilber is no longer the top quarterback, so it will be interesting to see what quarterbacks Zach Oles and Brennan Demark will bring to the table.

Overall, the Warhawks should have yet another successful football campaign. I’m not Nostradamus by any means, but there’s no reason to think this upcoming season should be a letdown.

With a combination of questions in the quarterback position and the difficulty of going two undefeated regular seasons in a row, I’m going to say the Warhawks finish the regular season 9-1 with its lone loss coming to the Titans. But UW-W should be favored to win its 37th WIAC title.

We’ll just have to wait and see between now and November to see everything unfold.