Warriors say they'll open it up again
By GREGORY BROOME | STARS AND STRIPES Published: September 6, 2019
Thirteenth in a series of DODEA-Europe high school football previews.
The Wiesbaden Warriors are getting back to what made them great.
Wiesbaden coach Steve Jewell announced plans to return this fall to the spread offense that fueled the Warriors’ string of championship-game appearances in recent years.
“We’re going back to it,” Jewell said before his team took the field for a late-August preseason scrimmage session with Division I rivals Kaiserslautern and Ramstein. “We’re going to hopefully sling it around a little this year and have some fun.”
That would be a noted departure from last season. A consistent playoff presence for much of the decade preceding the 2018 campaign, Wiesbaden managed to beat just one of its five divisional rivals in a frustrating 1-5 showing that kept the Warriors uncharacteristically sidelined for the postseason.
After evaluating the talent he has on this fall’s roster, Jewell doesn’t expect that to happen again. This year’s Warriors have the weapons to restart its formerly high-powered spread offense.
““We didn’t think we suited up well for that last year,” Jewell said. “This year, for sure, I know we do.”
A dangerous passing attack starts, obviously, with a dangerous quarterback, and Wiesbaden has one that fits that description. Jewell said quarterback Sam Houston, after cameo appearances at the position last season, “will fully take control of the Warrior offense” this fall, adding that Houston returned to camp “a year better, a year stronger, a year bigger.”
Houston will be joined in the backfield by Austin Deckinga, a late addition to last year’s Warriors now poised to put up a full season’s worth of quality production as the team’s feature running back.
Wideouts Hayden Smith and Ben Tyler and offensive line cornerstone Mike Buchheit help fill out the impressive offensive cast.
While the offensive looks to recapture its explosiveness, Jewell plans to extend that aggressive approach to the opposite side of the ball as well, where the Warriors will play a more “attacking defensive style of play.” Linebackers Deven Smith and Nico Giandalia and defensive lineman Noah Harris will play key roles in that effort.