The Whitefish Bay Dominican football team is so youthful this year, it will put the green in the nickname "Green Knights".
So second-year coach Dave Gnadt, in his second go-round with Dominican (the first time was 2000 and 2001), will take a deep breath and hope some veteran linemen can make room for some very young skill position players.
"We'll have about 45 on the varsity (and junior varsity) roster," he said, "and of those, about 34 are either freshmen or sophomores. We understand that we might have some growing pains."
The Green Knights are coming off a 2-7 2006 campaign. They'll be back in the Midwest Classic Conference this fall and will open at Burlington Catholic Central at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25.
Gnadt will look to build around six seniors, including letterwinners such as second-team all-conference linebacker Zach Keller, who will also play guard. Other senior letterwinners include defensive end/offensive lineman Phil Cook and defensive back/wide receiver Chris Moede. Another returnee is junior two-way tackle Philippe Machare.
New seniors to the roster include guard/linebacker Juan Lozano, center/defensive tackle Chris Bernbrock and wide receiver/defensive back Frank Balistrieri. Junior quarterback Nate Friday will handle the multiple-set offense for Dominican and the defense will work out of a four-man front.
Size will be an issue Gnadt said, as only a handful of Green Knights are over 200 pounds.
"We had a scrimmage last weekend and our defense played well, but our offense was very sluggish," Gnadt said. "That was understandable because every other skill position player was a sophomore."
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