WAHOO – For the first time in nearly four decades, the Bishop Neumann football team will be led onto the field by someone other than Coach Tim Turman.
Turman retired after leading the Cavaliers into the Class c-1 semifinals a season ago, riding off into the sunset with a record of 307-159-2, with 280 of the wins coming at Bishop Neumann High School.
Taking over for Turman in 2019 will be Doug Lanik, a man who is not unfamiliar with the rich football tradition at the school.
Lanik graduated from Bishop Neumann in 1976 and has served as a Cavalier assistant for nearly two decades.
Lanik, known for his innovative offensive play calling, inherits a team which finished 9-3 last season. The biggest win was a 23-21 home playoff victory against the Pierce Bluejays in the Class C-1 quarterfinals.
“We are still going to run option, our coaches know it, the players know and we have been successful with it. So we are going to stick with it,” Lanik added.
The Cavaliers return four starters on the offensive side of the football a year after averaging 33 points a game.
One key returner is senior Taylen Pospisil who missed the entire 2018 season recovering from a torn ACL.
The 160-pound speedster is expected to step in at quarterback and run the Cavaliers option attack.
He was the team’s back-up quarterback as a sophomore and started at safety.
“Taylen looks good. He missed an entire year, so is he all the way back, probably not, but we have three weeks of practice and by the start of the season I think he will be ready to go,” added Lanik.
Senior David Lilly (175) and junior Spencer Weise (155) are expected to get the bulk of the carries in the run game.
Lilly rushed for nearly 500 yards (7.6 ypg) and six touchdowns last season.
Wiese carried the ball just 18 times as a sophomore and was limited by a shoulder injury, but is expected to have a much bigger role in the Cavaliers option attack in 2019.
The Cavaliers graduated four of five starters along the offensive line and one of Lanik’s biggest tasks will be rebuilding what was a team strength a year ago.
Seniors Dalton Bartek (270) and Jon Matulka (205) both played a lot of snaps last season and return with the most experience along the Cavs frontline.
“A lot of our success offensively will depend how quickly the guys up front come together. There is potential there,” Lanik said.
Seniors Jonathan Klement (185), Bobby Hageman (175) and junior Will Kavan (185) lettered a season ago and should figure into the rotation in 2019.
Two key figures return in the passing game. Senior Trey Miller is a big target at tight end (6’2” 210) and is coming off a season where he caught a team best 26 balls for 265 yards and four touchdowns.
Senior Jarrett Kmiecik (6’1” 180) played a lot at receiver a year ago and will figure prominently in the passing game.
The Cavaliers were good defensively a year ago, allowing just over 16 points a game.
Five starters return on the defensive side of the football including Lilly who broke the school record for tackles in a season with 144 in 2018.
“David had an all-state type season for us last year. He is able to get sideline to sideline to make plays and he has tremendous instincts to go along with outstanding athleticism,” Lanik stated.
Miller will move from outside linebacker to the inside this season. He finished with 47 tackles and six tackles for loss a season ago.
Kmiecik will move from corner to outside linebacker this season and has the combination of size and speed to make plays on the perimeter.
Bartek returns with the most experience on the defensive line.
Weise started at cornerback last season as a sophomore and will be joined by junior Seth Fairbanks and Pospisil in the Cavalier secondary.
Fairbanks pressed into action last season as a sophomore, has good instincts and is a sure tackler.
Neumann’s schedule features the same team’s as last season and the Cavaliers will open the season on the road against the Boys Town Cowboys on Aug. 30.