After experiencing an off-season with numerous changes, the football team’s roster is very different than it was at this time last year.
In addition to those who graduated, namely starting running back Sultan Daniels ’19, the Wolverines also lost quarterback Jameson Wang ’20 and receiver Terrell Long ’21, two key players who transferred after last year’s season.
Coach Michael Burnett also stepped down Aug. 5, citing the stress of the job and the toll it took on his family life. Linebackers coach Conrad Cuda resigned as well.
Ramsey Lambert, who joined the coaching staff as an assistant over the summer, will assume head coaching duties.
Despite the current circumstances, Lambert said he is very happy to work with this team.
“It’s going really [well],” Lambert said. “I feel most days, we’ve gotten better from one to the next and so that’s always positive. I love being here. This is a great, great school to be at. And the kids have been nothing but awesome.”
The Wolverines plan to fill the void Wang left by promoting Marshall Howe ’21 to the starting quarterback role.
“Being named starting quarterback is a huge honor for me,” Howe said. “It’s really been a long process, so it’s nice to see all of my hard work come to fruition. I can’t wait to display all of the hard work that my teammates and I have put in throughout the off-season on Friday nights.”
Lambert praised his new quarterback, specifically complimenting his ability to read the field and defenses.
“Marshall is very coachable,” Lambert said. “He’s extremely smart, he’s got really good accuracy and he understands the game, which enables him to manage the other players around him. He understands where the ball needs to go and at what times. He doesn’t force stuff, and he’s just making the plays he’s been coached to do.”
Although the team encountered many difficulties prior to the start of the season, the players are still optimistic for the upcoming season and chance to make a deeper run in the playoffs, Vito Ameen ’20 said.
“I’m feeling good about the team so far,” Ameen said. “I feel like we’re ready for our first game, thanks to the coaching staff. Even though Coach Burnett leaving at the start of camp was a shock, I have confidence in our staff to continue making the team as a whole better through the season.”
Howe said he thinks the struggles of the off-season can help strengthen the team, and believes that the high talent level of the players will lead the team to improvement.
“Dealing with adversity as a team can help us in the future,” Howe said. “We have a lot of great talent this year, and I think we will only get stronger as the season progresses. We do have a fair number of new faces, so our team chemistry both on and off the field will improve. On top of that, we will have guys returning during the season, and we will continue to get faster and stronger throughout the year.”
Safety Evan Roderick ’21 said the team’s goal is to focus on one game at a time.
“We have to go 1-0 every week,” Roderick said. “We do that, and we’ll win a championship.”
Last year, the Wolverines’s finished with a 6-5 overall record and a 3-1 league record. The team’s home opener will take place Aug. 30 against Venice High School.