Germantown head football coach Jake Davis is still relatively new to the game compared to others in the area, but he says he can't remember a pre-season camp like this before.
"It's gone really well," he said. "The guys are excited and ready to go. Honestly, it felt like the quickest first two weeks that I can remember. The guys just got in so many things so fast that we wanted to slow things down and let them enjoy the journey a bit."
The journey may be a long and successful one this season because the Warhawks may have an offense for the ages, with record-setting, 6-foot-4, three-year veteran quarterback Dwayne Lawhorn, Jr., back at the helm for his senior season after a 9-3 season in 2013.
He passed for more than 2,000 yards out of the pro-I set offense in earning All-North Shore Conference honors and is off to a fast start, said Davis.
"That's the best thing about starting a sophomore quarterback (two years ago)," said Davis with a chuckle. "They eventually become a senior. Seriously, he's doing great. He's like another coach on the field. He knows the offense better than we do."
And he has tools to work with in senior wide-outs Connor Schulz, Steve Doran, Carter Schmitz and Conner Edmonds, not to mention all-world tight end/defensive end Cole Karcz (6-5, 225). To go along with his strength, Karcz has also run a 4.57 40-yard dash in a college camp.
Returning second-team all-North Shore running back Joe Lemerond will lend balance to the offense.
The offense will be powered by one of the largest offensive lines in a decade for the Warhawks, as veteran seniors Sean Mabett (6-3, 300); Michael Cooney (5-8, 246); and Alex Schlee (6-5, 264) will lead the way.
"Not much will change for us (offensively)," said Davis. "We'll see our best opportunities when we try to stay balanced. We'll try to get it out there (passing) as much as possible, but Joe (Lemerond) is no slouch as a running back."
Defensively, the Warhawks are a bit thinner, but will still be effective, as Karcz and big-time playmaker Lincoln Gruber form as lethal a pair of defensive ends Germantown has had in quite some time. Senior Kyle Theis will man the middle linebacker position like he did last year, but in the secondary, seniors Nick Schneider and Justin Gross saw some time last year but the unit as a whole will be green.
"There's a lot of potential out there," Davis said, "but there are just so many new faces."
The defense will vary between five- and four-man fronts.
"Size-wise, this may be as good as we've been in awhile," said Davis.
In the North Shore Conference, defending champ Homestead is built similarly to the Warhawks and Cedarburg will also be dangerous, even without graduated all-world running back Hudson Walton. Germantown has not won a league title since 2002, so the motivation is there.
"It'll be the same old North Shore," Davis said, "but we'll be ready. We have a lot of internal drive this season."
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