The Kindred, North Dakota, Vikings spoiled Wahpeton’s home finale with a 35-0 victory on Thursday, Oct. 10 in a game that was moved up a day due to weather concerns. The Huskies’ highlight of the cold, rainy evening was the Senior Night celebration prior to the game. It was the final time under the lights of Frank Vertin Field for Isaac Wohlers, Sawyer Malme, Hunter Wamre, Thomas Withuski, Wauker Spanel, Kobe Thimjon and Kaiden Wickoren.
“These seniors are always going to mean something to me. They’re my first senior group as head coach and I tip my hat to them,” Wahpeton coach Wade Gilbertson said. “We’re not done yet. We’ll talk to them after the season’s over and this is their last home game, but these guys are going to do much bigger things in life than this and hopefully our experience with them on this football team will guide them through those experiences.”
The Huskie defense had multiple sparks throughout the night, including a pair of turnovers. Withuski and Chase Moderow each recovered a fumble for Wahpeton. Kobe Thimjon was the leading tackler with 14 stops from his linebacker spot and Wauker Spanel was also in double digits with 13.
“We ask a lot out of those guys (Thimjon and Spanel) and rightfully so. They’re right in the middle of our defense and we ask a lot out of them. Hopefully they don’t think we’re too hard on them because we want them to always be at their best,” Gilbertson said. “Those are two guys that I’m proud of. Wauker after missing a year, I’m so proud of him and so happy he came out because football missed him and I think he missed football, too. He’s now back to where he should be if he would not have missed his junior year. I’m very happy with the way he’s playing.”
Wamre was another standout with his punts giving the team solid field position throughout the night. One of his booming kicks flipped the field and his coach thinks might be close to a school record.
“I didn’t even look at the stats page and I don’t know where we were at, but I’d sure like to look at the record book to see where that one landed,” Gilbertson said. “He’s been a nice surprise this year for us. I’m so proud of him. He hasn’t gotten a lot of playing time on O or on D, but he’s really taken that punting position to heart and has really worked hard on it and has gotten better at it.”
Wahpeton’s offense struggled to get anything going against a stout Kindred defense. It was the first full game at quarterback for Treyton Link, who was filling in for the injured Blake Schafer.
“I was happy with the way Treyton Link played. He took it head on and I was happy with that,” Gilbertson said. “I know he’s down on himself right now because he didn’t think he played very well, but I’m very happy with his leadership on offense and defense this year.”
Wahpeton (0-7) heads to Devils Lake, North Dakota, for a 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19 battle.
“Devils Lake’s pretty good. They took Hillsboro to overtime, but Hillsboro was missing a few of their key players. We’ll see,” Gilbertson said. “We always play well at Devils Lake. As long as I’ve been a coach there’s only been a couple of games where we’ve gone up there and laid an egg.”