Photo By Kelly Magee - #1 Norman Gonzalez
Written By: Sven Alskog
Wilder split the conference title with Idaho City last year and made a trip to the state semifinals, pushing eventual champion Valley to the wire in a hard-fought 42-40 loss.
A large group of impact performers has departed from that roster for the Wildcats, including both Sedlacek’s, Ismael Cortez, Benji Escutia, Cristian Aguilar, Dakota White and Braydon Claudio.
Fortunately for the program, Conference Offensive Player of the Year Norman Gonzalez returns at wide receiver, along with Pablo Martinez at quarterback, Cody Walker at linebacker and First Team All-Conference performer Saulo Luna.
“We had a great year last season, but lost a lot of seniors. We have an outstanding group returning though. We are all excited to see what they will bring to the table this year,” said head coach Kyle DalSoglio.
Multiple pieces appear ready to step into key roles this year as well, including junior defensive back and wide receiver Diego Rodriguez.
“He started at corner last year until a season ending injury. He has rehabbed and has himself ready for action. I am excited to see him back on the field,” added DalSoglio.
Sophomore offensive and defensive lineman Adrian Miramontes is another player that the coach really likes.
“He saw significant reps last year during the postseason filing in for an injured upperclassman. He has put in a ton of work and I expect him to make an impact on both sides of the ball.”
The offense for Wilder should remain tough this year, with Gonzalez and Martinez one of the best quarterback and wide receiver duos in the classification.
In order for the Wildcats to reach their full potential, the defense will need to stop the run and prevent big plays.
Wilder starts the season on August 30 with a road game at Horseshoe Bend.