Manitowoc Lincoln is coming off of a very interesting 4-6 season. Last year was the first time the Fox River Classic Conference split into two, now featuring the FRCC North and South. The Ships participate in the South, which includes Green Bay East, Green Bay West, Menasha, Notre Dame, Sheboygan North, and Sheboygan South. Oddly enough, Lincoln’s four wins come against the four coordinates: Sheboygan North, Green Bay East, Sheboygan South, and Green Bay West. Quite the accomplishment to say the least.
Brett Prange was the ultimate part of the Ships offense. Prange was an all-conference running back who made the transition to quarterback. With only the offseason to prepare, coach Greg Enz couldn’t have been happier with the results. Lincoln opted to focus on a run and option heavy attack, which was no surprise to some of their opponents. When it worked, it was a thing of beauty. Besides a very close loss to Appleton West to open their season, all of Manitowoc’s losses were blowouts.
Let’s Talk Numbers
The Ships put up 40+ points in a three-week span against the likes of Sheboygan South, Green Bay East, and Green Bay West. Combined, those three teams were 3-24. Not to take away from Lincoln’s high powered offense scoring points and looking good, but you have to put things into perspective. Once the competition picked up, Manitowoc had no answer. Lincoln ultimately followed up that win streak with a four-game skid to close out the year, being outscored 184-14 in the process.
Looking at the stats, it was the Brett Prange show. Prange only threw the ball 73 times, but he finished with a sweet 93.9QBR on the season. With a 4TD to 1INT ratio, Prange protected the ball and did what he was asked to do in the passing game. Bubble screens and short slant routes were the way to go, but Coach Enz wasn’t afraid to throw in a trick play or two. One of the Ships best plays of the season was a Demani Wilson long ball TD pass. Wilson is one of the many players Lincoln will be missing this season.
To continue, Prange once again led the way in terms of rushing yards. It was a 1000+ rushing yard season for the graduated senior as he averaged exactly 128 yards on the ground a game. Gavin Lettenberger, one of the big names back in the fold for this upcoming season, finished second with one yard north of 1000 less than Prange. While he finished fourth in receiving yards, Lettenberger hauled in the most receptions on the season, 12.
A trio of Manitowoc receivers completed their seasons with 11 receptions. The first of which is Ben Wollersheim who was Prange’s favorite long ball threat. Wollersheim finished with just over 200 receiving yards, the next closest being the aforementioned Demani Wilson. Wilson is the one out of these three who graduated last season. Finishing third in receiving was Walker Lindbloom with 163 yards.
Defensively speaking, Austin Shaw led the way with three interceptions. Shaw will be back for Lincoln, as will Nikko Saengphaphat, the Ships leading tackler. Evan Vogt could be in line for a massive defensive season due to the departures of Kriztian Rocha-Flores, Tanner Mrotek, and Ben Walsh.
The New QB1
This coming Thursday (August 18th), Lincoln will head to Appleton West with a new quarterback leading the way. Max Maigatter is the man in charge, someone who saw a good chunk of reps’ last season. Coach Enz utilized those blowout wins to feature Maigatter in the passing game where he finished the season 10-23 for 86 yards. While Maigatter didn’t throw for a touchdown, he followed Prange’s lead with 21 carries for 76 yards and 2 touchdowns.
The connection between Gavin Lettenberger, Ben Wollersheim, and Max Maigatter is going to be huge. It’s safe to say that Lettenberger will be the lead back with Wollersheim once again being the top receiver. However, only time will tell.
Appleton West is far from a cakewalk in the season opener. While the Terrors are a D2 squad, they’re coming off back-to-back .500 seasons. Jeremy Clifton’s squad begins their season at home before being on the road for the next three. As for Manitowoc, they find themselves in a very odd schedule. Lincoln starts their season with three of their four games on the road. This is followed by three straight at Ron Rubick before heading back on the road for their final two.
A Trip to Michigan Awaits
Keep an eye on my page as next week I’ll be previewing the Ships game in Michigan! Manitowoc Lincoln’s high school football team will be taking the car-ferry to play Mona Shores on Friday, August 26th.