Bulldogs return skill on offense
By Erik Buchinger
The New London High School football team will bring back several skill position players to an offense that will look to keep the scoreboard operator busy in 2017.
The Bulldogs will be led by three-year starting quarterback Jack Noffke, who is back for his senior season.
“We’re going to have the ability to move the ball and put some points up,” coach Marc Marsh said.
Noffke will have a variety of players to throw to including Parker Fermanich, a first-team all-conference wide receiver in the Bay Conference last year.
“It’s incredible,” Noffke said. “[Fermanich] and Brayden [Kurth] are awesome on the edge. They’re so tall, so long, they’re so fast and athletic. When I get in trouble sometimes, I just got to throw it up to them and hope for the best. I know they’ll come down with at least 75 percent of them, so it’s awesome.”
Fermanich is coming off a breakout season in which he caught 40 passes for 738 yards and scored six touchdowns.
Other receiving options include athletic wide receiver Brayden Kurth and tight end Reegan Franzmeier.
“I’m really excited about the capability of our outside guys at receiver,” Marsh said.
Running back Makaio Harn earned significant playing time toward the end of last season and rushed for 202 yards with two touchdowns in the Bulldogs’ 41-0 win over Green Bay West.
“He’s a real explosive, dynamic kid and got some good reps last year as a sophomore toward the end of the year,” Marsh said. “He’s been looking really really good in camp so far.”
Defensively, Marsh said the team is getting better during practice despite a lack of experience at linebacker.
“We’re a little green at the linebacker position but improving daily and getting better there, trying to get guys in the right spot,” Marsh said. “We’ve been pleased with the progression of our front. We’re going to get some guys moving up there playing with some intensity. Our overall strength on defense is our secondary. We’ve got kids that have played there in the past with some real athletic guys in the secondary.”
New London is coming off a 2-7 season with three losses by seven points or less.
“Last year, we were competitive, but being close isn’t good enough,” Marsh said. “Guys want to come out here and want to win. Their eyes are on the prize, and they have something big in mind.”
Noffke said his goal is to limit turnovers and lead the Bulldogs to the playoffs.
“Hopefully if the guys and myself rally together, maybe we’ll play in a playoff game this year,” Noffke said. “That’s the ultimate goal.”
Noffke said his favorite part of playing for New London football is playing in front of the home fans.
“I like Bulldog stadium, it’s a really nice stadium,” Noffke said. “We’re one of the stadiums that’s probably not going to get AstroTurf for a while. It’s a good ol’ grass field. The stands are always full, and people are always out there having a good time. It’s fun to see the town rally behind a bunch of high school kids.”
Marsh said fans should be excited to come out and watch Bulldog football this season.
“We have a good group of kids here now that are representing our high school – first as citizens and as students,” Marsh said. “They’re great athletes out here that are committed, want to succeed, they’re coachable and are going to play with some intensity this year. I think we’re going to be an exciting team to watch.”