Season recap: Nedrose football HC Tommy Weidler
A year ago, the Nedrose Cardinals finished their football season with a record of 3-5. This past fall, the club improved with an overall mark of 5-4, including 5-2 in regional play, which led to an appearance in the Class A postseason tournament.
While the Cardinals ended their 2020 campaign with a 35-6 loss to Dickinson Trinity on Oct. 24, sixth-year head coach Tommy Weidler says he is hopeful the positive momentum gained this year will transfer over into the offseason.
The Minot Daily News asked Weidler about his overall impressions on the season, as well as who some of the club’s top performers were during the year. Here is what Weidler had to say via telephone.
MDN: Talk about the last game against Dickinson Trinity; what went well for the team, and what needs to improve moving forward?
Weidler: We controlled the clock, which is something we were looking to accomplish coming into the ballgame, and I thought we moved the ball well at times offensively. I was really proud of the effort we played with throughout, but the game kind of got away from us because we didn’t tackle well, and we came up short at the end.
MDN: How did the Cardinals respond collectively after starting off the season with back-to-back losses against Rugby and Bottineau?
Weidler: I believe those two non-regional games were big learning experiences for our team. We started to play with more confidence, and started to do things better during the week after those losses. I thought our overall engery level in practice was much better after going up against two really good teams, and we bounced back nicely.
MDN: Who were some of your top players from this year’s team, and what did they do to make their presence felt?
Weidler: I thought Damian Emly had an exceptional season for us on both sides of the ball as an offensive and defensive lineman, he was one of our big time senior leaders. Michael Kalamaha was also huge for us. He is usually our running back and tight end option, but this year he had to step up and play on the offensive line for us and did exceptionally well.
MDN: Did the COVID-19 situation have any affect on your season, and if so, how did you deal with it?
Weidler: We were pretty fortunate with that because only one player was quarantined during the season, and the team had to be under quarantine after the season ended, so we did not miss any games. We had the mentality that the whole year could come to an end at any point, so go out there and play every snap like it is your last.
MDN: What would your reaction have been if you were told in August that Nedrose would end 2020 with a 5-2 regional record?
Weidler: I would have been a pretty happy guy, I would have taken that in a heartbeat. We have a good young group to work with, and I think they learned the right way to prepare for games this year. Hopefully that experience can carry over into the offseason and into next year, and we can have an even better season in 2021.