By Matt Nestor
Prep Sports Reporter
On one hand, the Freeport Pretzels are going to look very similar to the way they looked last year. They will wear the same uniforms, and also have a lot of the same players back.
That is roughly where the similarities end for the Pretzels.
Field turf has been installed at their home field, the first school in the conference to make the switch to that type of surface. They also have a new head coach in Aaron Wichman.
As new coach, Wichman is switching their offensive system, a completely new look from what they have done before. Last season, the Pretzels spread the field with their quarterback in the shotgun. This season, the quarterback will be under center and the offense will have more of a pro-style look.
Quarterback Alex Bennett returns after throwing for almost 2,200 yards last season, and is one of the top returning quarterbacks in the state. He is also joined by Tony McShane and Devin Best.
One key for Wichman as a new coach is returning experience on the offensive line, which should help in the offensive transition.
“Kyrell Bruce and Aaron Zuck are offensive linemen that all have had good summers and will be counted on,” he said.
They also have key contributors returning on defense, including Tre Pempilton, Shadeed Monroe, Michael Guzzardo, Condre Rucker and Jack Lehnherr.
The Pretzels get to try out their new field turf in week one of the season, hosting a veteran Guilford team. Wichman said that should be a good test to see if his team is ready to compete.
“We open at home against Guilford, which will be a great opportunity for us to see where we are at,” he said.
From the Aug. 24-30, 2011, issue