WAYZATA FOOTBALL 2018: Trojans lose heart breaker at home against Eden Prairie

From the get-go, it was clear that this rivalry battle between two top 5 programs was going to be one tough-minded match up. Both team’s opening quarter play consisted of hard-nosed defense and a ground-and-pound mindset on the offensive end. This strategy was nothing new for the visiting Eagles, but for the Trojans, who are traditionally a spread-option team, this tactic proved to be a surprising move.

Eden Prairie Photo Gallery

Senior back, Alec Underhill watched the game from the sideline with what seemed to be a lingering knee injury. His absence proved to be detrimental for the Trojans attack as it took away their ability to change pace in the backfield, and likely contributed to the team’s decision to pound the ball up the middle. Junior ball carrier, Christian Vasser, took on the workload at the running back position, handling all but one of the first half carries for the Trojans.

It took a whole quarter of play for either team to score, but it was the Eagles who struck first on an 18 yard pass to wide receiver, Jackson Burke. Wayzata’s offense was quick to respond, and ultimately one-up Eden Prairie, as senior wide out, Connor Hale, hauled in a 55 yard bomb from quarterback Keaton Heide. The Trojans struggled to maintain this momentum as some killer penalties wiped out a few big gains for their attack. Eden Prairie capitalized on the final drive of the second quarter, making it 14-7 at the half.

The third quarter opened sourly for the Trojans, as it took just three plays for the Eagles to bounce one off for a 46 yard touchdown run. Now down two scores after three straight scoring drives for Eden Prairie, Wayzata’s offense faced some adversity. Relying heavily on production from running back Christian Vasser, the Trojans looked to tire the Eden Prairie defense one downhill run at a time. This wear and tear strategy proved successful for the Trojans as Vasser beat the Eagles defense to the edge and scored from the 14 yard line.

Now a one score game, the Trojan defense stepped up in a big way. After a quick three-and-out, the Eagles muffed a punt and set the Trojan offense up with excellent field position. Starting at Eden Prairie’s 14 yard line, the Trojans quickly capitalized and scored on a dart from Heide to Hanlin. Both offenses continued to trade shots for the remainder of the fourth quarter. First, Eden Prairie drove the ball down the field and scored on a run from inside the five, but their lead didn’t last as the Wayzata quickly responded with a drive of their own, capped off by a 14 yard touchdown from tailback, Christian Vasser.

Keegan Nickel stuffs an Eden Prairie Rusher. 
© Dan Gustafson & Wayzata Photography.

Tied at 28 a piece late in the fourth quarter, this offensive bout went down to the wire. As they did throughout the entirety of second half, both offenses marched down the field to trade scores. Wayzata converted from inside the five on a touchdown throw from Heide to Joe Demro to make it 35-34, Eden Prairie. Instead of kicking the PAT to tie the game and send it to overtime, the Trojans opted to go for two. Reaching deep into their playbook, Wayzata attempted a shuffle pass which resulted in an incompletion. The try for two was obviously a bold call, but when stakes are high, gutsy calls are needed to win games. Unfortunately, the night did not pan out the way the Trojans would have liked but an more opportunities lie in the future for this talented team. The Trojans will battle Lakeville North next week in what should square up to be an excellent test.

Trojans stump Hornets 23-0 in home opener

Move to 2-1 on the season, Eden Prairie (2-1) up next. 

Pictured above Trojan linebackers Cade Ciarrocca and Trevor Palesch tackle an Edina ball carrier. © Dan Gustafson & Wayzata Photography.

The Trojan defense came in running on all cylinders during their Friday night bout against the Edina Hornets. On the opening drive, Wayzata pushed the Hornet’s offense deep into their own territory, forcing a punt from the end zone, which was blocked, and recovered by the Trojans for a safety.

Trojans vs Edina Photo gallery

Even with a healthy cushion, Wayzata’s offense struggled to produce early in the first quarter. Running back, Alec Underhill popped off a few nice carries but the Trojan’s passing game just wasn’t in sync enough to produce an opening quarter touchdown. This slump didn’t last long as the Trojan’s marched down the field and punched the ball into the end zone from the 1 yard line to open the second quarter.

Equipped with a 9-0 lead, Wayzata’s defense kept their foot on the gas. The front four held their own and the secondary quickly filled the gaps to form the wall that stopped the Hornets offense on a 4th-and-short effort inside Trojan territory. To top it off, linebacker, Trevor Palaech bumped up the intensity and sacked Edina quarterback, Ethan Hufendick, to close the half.

The Trojan offense fed off of their defense’s energy and opened the third quarter strong. A few nice runs from running back Christian Vasser set up the trojans with a red zone opportunity. The Trojans capitalized on opportune field position, scoring on a 13 yard toss from Keaton Heide to wide-out Ian Hanlin.

Ian Hanlin scores on a 13 yard touchdown reception from QB Keaton Heide.
© Dan Gustafson & Wayzata Photography.

Now up 16-0, the Trojan defense settled into their roles and continued to execute. Quality pursuit and flat-out effort allowed for Wayzata to outmatch the Hornet’s attack. On a key third down, a horse filled with Trojans united to sack Edina for a nine yard loss. A muffled punt downed for another loss ended the lackluster drive for the Hornets.

Quarter 4 sailed just as smooth for Wayzata as their offense rolled with a rhythm. The Trojans took advantage of good field position and scored again through the air. This time, Jacob Wildermuth reeled in a ball dropped in by Heide to make it 23-0. Rolling off of momentum, the trojan defense ended Edina’s hopes of a comeback with an interception by senior captain, David Sandall. Final Score; 23-0.

Jacob Wildermuth snags a 26 yard touchdown reception from Keaton Heide.
© Dan Gustafson & Wayzata Photography.

WAYZATA FOOTBALL 2018: Trojan’s Fall Short to Skipper’s 27-24

Wayzata vs Minnetonka Football 2018

The Wayzata Trojan’s fought hard in this back-and-forth bout, but came up short to the Minnetonka Skippers. With a total of 5 lead changes in the second half, it took everything the Skippers had to outlast Wayzata. The Trojans came into the game missing #2 Billy Riviere because of an apparent left leg injury, but that did not slow down Wayzata’s passing game as tight end Nicholas Kallerup hauled in a 7 passes for 106 yards and two scores. When talking about Kallerup’s contributions to the team, Coach Brown kept it brief by simply saying, “He’s a stud.” With Riviere out it seems that Kallerup has become the go-to guy for quarterback Keaton Heide.

2018 Wayzata vs Minnetonka Football Image Gallery

Overall, the Wayzata offense put together a few nice drives throughout the night, including a 79-yard opening drive that was capped off by a 5-yard touchdown from running back Christian Vasser. The Trojan’s running game was well balanced throughout the night as a few ball-carriers popped off a number of big gains. #4, Christian Vasser, once again led the team in carries but the workload was definitely more distrubted as senior, Alec Underhill and junior, Malaki Jackson, contributed heavily to Wayzata’s ground game.

Defensively, the Trojan’s have some clear adjustments to make. The effort was there, but a few lapses in the secondary, and some sloppy run defense proved to be a contributing factor to last nights loss. However, there were some positive things that the Trojan defense can hang their hat on. Up front, the Trojan’s played well. Totaling a number of sacks and tackles for loss, it was clear that ferocious pursuit of the ball was a goal going into the night.

At the end of it all, the Trojan’s fell just short of what would have been a great team win. As Coach Brown described it, “We just ran out of time.” It is to be determined where the No. 10 Trojan’s will fall in next week’s rankings, but with current No. 1 Eden Prairie’s loss, it is likely that the No. 2 Skipper’s will replace the Eagles at the top of the totem pole. Next week, it will be exciting to see how this Trojan team fares at home as they make their debut opener against the Edina Hornets. 

WAYZATA FOOTBALL 2018: Trojans Rise Above the Irish in Away Opener

The Wayzata Trojans started the season strong with a 21-12 win against the Rosemount Irish. First game jitters were in full effect early as the Trojans struggled to get quality production on both offense and defense. As the game developed, Wayzata found their rhythm and were able to settle into their roles and execute.

View the Photo gallery here.

The Trojan’s offense capitalized on big-play opportunities, scoring on a 55 yard bomb from Keaton Heide to Connor Hale. Tight ends, Billy Riviere and Nicholas Kallerup also racked up a few nice gains on deliveries from Heide. The Trojan’s ground game started off a little shaky but once junior back, Christian Vasser, found his footing he was able to total up 84 yards as well as a crucial second-quarter touchdown from a yard out.

Defensively, the Trojans were solid. Totaling 3 interceptions, a pair snagged by senior corner Jacob Beeninga and a 45 yard pick-six by defensive lineman Joe Demro, it was clear that the secondary came in with a ballhawk mentality. The Trojan’s need to make some improvements on both sides of the ball heading into week 2, but the mindset and will to win is present, which is a great sign for this rising program.

Wayzata Trojan Football: 2018 Season Preview

With an emphasis on attitude and effort, the Wayzata Trojans are looking to control what they can control this season. Change is something that the Trojans have become accustomed to over the last few years, but as Head Coach, Lambert Brown, enters his second full season as first-in-command, this period of reconstruction seems to be transitioning into a phase of composure and efficiency. Fitted with a few familiar faces, the Trojans are in search of a bounce-back season.

I caught up with senior quarterback, Keaton Heide, to talk about his comfort with the offense. He described to me that, “We are really playing our game,” and that, “The pieces are coming together nicely.” With two years of quality playing time under his belt, these are words of encouragement for a team that has battled some past adversity.

As far as the other side of the ball goes, the Trojans are adopting a tenacious mentality. To elaborate more on these adjustments, I spoke with senior corner, Jacob Beeninga, about this new-look defense. “We’re definitely more aggressive defensively,” asserted the senior, “We’ve developed this dog mentality, we really focus on pursuing the ball every single play.”

Based upon my conversations with players and coaches on both sides of the ball, it appears as if the Wayzata Trojans are coming into their away opener with some much-needed confidence. Ultimately, we will see how this embraced change in team culture fares against the Rosemount Irish on Thursday, August 30th, 7:00 pm, at Rosemount High School.

Trojans utilize clutch free throws, outside shooting to beat Tonka 78 -74

Your Wayzata Trojans (11-5) basketball team beat a physically bigger Skipper (9-7) basketball squad at the Minnetonka Field House on January 26, 2018 by a score of 78-74. Connor Hale (pictured above) went 4 for 4 from the line in the last seconds of the game.

Sports Coverage provided by: WayzataRealEstate.com

Continue reading Trojans utilize clutch free throws, outside shooting to beat Tonka 78 -74

CCX: Prekindergarten evolves in Wayzata School District

‘Experts say there’s a noticeable difference between children who attend prekindergarten programs and those who don’t. In today’s School Spotlight, Delane Cleveland introduces us to Wayzata’s Early Childhood Family Education program.’

CCXMEDIA: Sports Jam Spotlight: Kallie Theisen

“In this week’s Sports Jam Spotlight segment Jason Melillo profiles Wayzata girls basketball standout Kallie Theisen. The junior is one of the state’s top players and has helped lead the Trojans to a 16-0 record to start the season. The story airs on the January 16, 2018 edition of CCX Media’s Sports Jam.”

#2 Wayzata Girls Basketball comes from behind to win 70-66 over #3 Hopkins

View Dan Gustafson’s photo gallery here: Wayzata vs. Hopkins Basketball 2017

Your #2 ranked Wayzata Girls Basketball team came from behind to beat #3 Hopkins at the Trojan Fieldhouse 70-66 to move to 16-0. Hopkins got a big lead right out of the gate:

Trailing by 15 points at halftime, Head Coach Mike Shumacher made a number of adjustments including moving to a 2-3 zone defensive scheme. “The key was switching up, getting to a different defense in the second half,” stated Shumacher in an interview after the game:

Junior Mimi Schrader’s baseline jumper with 3:31 left in the 2nd half to make it Wayzata 65, Hopkins 64 put the Trojans up for good.

Schrader led all scorers with 20 points, Jenna Johnson scored 15, Kaalie Theisen and Jasmine Smiley each had 10 points, Annika Stewart had 8, Alivia Arnebeck scored 5, and Molly Thompson added 2 points.


CCXMEDIA: Wayzata girls hockey skates past Hopkins/Park

“The Wayzata girls hockey team scored three second-period goals to break open a close game on the way to a 6-2 win over Hopkins/Park in a Lake Conference game. The win is the fourth in the past five games for the Trojans.”

CCX Media: Wayzata a winner over Maple Grove in holiday basketball

The Maple Grove and Wayzata boys basketball teams each reached the state tournament last season, but both have a lot of new faces in the lineup this season. One of the returning starters for Wayzata was key to their victory over the Crimson Wednesday. Junior guard Jacob Beninga scored 31 points as the Wayzata Trojans raced out to a lead. Later, Wayzata had to pull away late to beat Maple Grove 60-52.

STRIB: Khalid Hessein is Metro Boys’ Cross Country Runner of Year

In battle of top 10 teams, 5th ranked Park Center rolls over Trojans 84-52

Park Center (3-1) rolled into the historic Trojan Fieldhouse Friday evening and proceeded to dismantle your 9th ranked Wayzata Trojans (2-2).

Dan Gustafson’s photo gallery here.

Park Center was led by senior Jarius Cook who scored 22 points including five 3-pointers in the effort. 6 foot 9 inch senior Dain Dainja added 15 points for the Pirates as they scored early and often over the Trojans.

Stat leaders for Wayzata included 15 points for Jacob Beeninga, and 9 points each for Luke Paulson and Drew Galinson.

The Trojans host Orono (3-2) on Thursday, December 21st and will look to rebound from this tough loss.