BOYCEVILLE — It’s a season of change for the Boyceville football team this year.
Michael Roemhild begins his first year as head coach and after a winless season in 2018 and Roemhild and his team want to a part of the turnaround.
“It’s always a new transition when you get pretty much a whole new coaching staff that comes in, and that’s what happened,” Roemhild said. “But these guys they’ve really been listening and working hard at practice so we like the results we’re seeing right now.”
The Bulldogs were 0-9 overall and 0-6 in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference last year and must replace the production from leading rusher and key defender Ty Gundlach. Gundlach was named to the all-conference second team last year at linebacker after leading Boyceville in tackles (90), tackles for loss (17) and sacks (5) according to wissports.net. He also ran for 404 yards and four touchdowns on 88 carries.
With a new staff Roemhild is focused on development and building a connection between the players and coaches, rather than strictly wins and losses. Progress will be based on being competitive in each game.
“A successful season is them buying in to what we’re doing as a coaching staff,” Roemhild said. “I’m competitive as it comes and I don’t go into any game expecting to lose or think that we’re going to lose and that’s the same mentality that I want these guys to have. I don’t want complacency to set in and they’re okay with losing.”
Back for the Bulldogs is honorable mention specialist/utility player Brendan Sempf. The senior is the leading returning rusher after carrying the ball for 206 yards on 81 attempts while also having a team-best 23 receptions for 449 yards.
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Connor Sempf and Trevor Hollister are both back after splitting time at quarterback in 2018. Sempf tossed five touchdowns and 659 yards while Hollister threw for 289 yards and two scores.
“Offensively we want to control the ball. We’ve got some different style runners on the team that we’re going to try to take advantage of,” Roemhild said.
Nate Stuart brings back the most production on defense after collecting 52 tackles last season. Roemhild wants to have a team with an impact defense. He will look to put in place a defensive style that soon will become a staple of the Bulldogs program.
“We want to be a disciplined team on defense. We want to be aggressive,” Roemhild said. “We want to be known for our defense that when you’re coming to play Boyceville that the defense is going to bring it to you every game.”
Boyceville begins play next Friday with a road matchup at Independence/Gilmanton. The first home game comes Aug. 30 against Clear Lake while conference play comes the following week as the Bulldogs host Glenwood City.
The Bulldogs’ home slate will also include Colfax and Durand while they will travel to Elk Mound, Spring Valley and Mondovi. The regular season concludes with a nonconference matchup at Cadott.
“We want to bring excitement back to Friday nights in Boyceville,” Roemhild said. “It’s time to make a change. These 31 guys want to be a part of that change and are excited to do it.”