Columbus Junction football looks to use momentum from last year to push them this year.
The Wildcats won two of their last three games last year, and are a focused and hungry team for the 2013 season.
On offense the Wildcats look to junior quarterback Ethan Leyden who went 7-25 last year, and is the only returning quarterback on the team. In the running game Columbus Junction loses their top running back to graduation, but Mark Ramirez and Maurico Ramirez both return this year with a combined 930 yards and five touchdowns. They do return their top two receivers with Ricky Rivers back for his senior year with 218 yards and seven touchdowns, and Chase Finke with 12 catches, 170 yards and two touchdowns.
Defensively, Columbus Junction brings back their top five tacklers with Mark Ramirez leading the way with 63 tackles, and Zach Gaddy right behind him with 56 tackles. In the secondary Finke and Rivers return, with Finke having three interceptions last year and Rivers with one.
The Wildcats had no kicker last year, and at the punting position Finke averaged 34.5 yards per punt with his longest being 50.
Head coach Jeff Martin is excited about the team this year and what they can do with having momentum behind them, but he knows the next step starts with game one.
“We’re not where we want to be, but I am glad we’re not where we were,” Martin said. “We’re ahead of where we were last year, we are doing things a lot more advanced then we were last year, and we have a lot of veteran kids, and that is thing that really helping us right now. We have a lot of guys that have played a lot of varsity football, but now we have to take that next step, and the next step we have to take is Friday night and WACO is going to provide a great challenge on Friday, they’re a good football team.”
The Wildcats start things off with hosting WACO this Friday, and then will travel to Wapello on September 6, and then is at West Burlington-Notre Dame September 13. Columbus returns home to host West Liberty on September 20 and then L-M September 27.
The Wildcats start off October traveling to Mid-Prairie October 4, and then to Central Lee October 11. Columbus Junction finishes up their season hosting Mediapolis on October 18 and then go to Camanche October 25 for the last game of the season.