Colors: Red and White
Head Coach: Andy Welsh (4th season)
2017 record: 4-6 (lost to Johnson-Brock in second round of playoffs)
Returning Starters: 2
The Pender Pendragons drop from D-1 to D-2, but still hope to be successful despite only having 17 kids out for the team this year.
Pender returns just two starters in seniors Jaydon Jump (5’10, 225 RB/LB) and Sam Mailoux (6’6, 195 WR/LB).
Top newcomers include Lucas Timm, Larry McManigal (6’1, 180), Dylan Vogt (5’10, 170), who is expected to start at tailback for the Pendragons this season, as well as starting wide receiver Jaxon Maise, and Jaxon Mrsny.
Others expected to contribute for Pender this season are freshman Caleb Trimble (5’10, 145) and senior Gabe Perez (5’10, 230).
Big losses from last year include Brady Oliver, Jared Tyrell, Tyler Nelson, and all linemen.
4th year Head Coach Andy Welsh says Welsh says the Pendragons only went to one camp this year due to the runs the Junior and Senior Legion Baseball Teams made.
Pender has dropped to D-2 due to enrollment numbers. “And we know we’re going to go through this lull here at Pender for probably two cycles. Probably this year and the following three years. It’s something that obviously we needed to have happen with our boy enrollments. We would not be able to compete at the D-1 level this year probably with only having 17 boys out for football,” Welsh said.
Welsh says Pender simply doesn’t have the numbers in the school right now.
Bob Jensen of the Huskerland Prep Report projects the Pendragons to win something like 4 games and make the playoffs.
Pender opens up the season at home against Winnebago Friday night. The same Indians team that upset Pender 60-42 in Winnebago last season.
Welsh says the Indians are a tough draw. “Well they’re going to be an athletic team. They’ll be good. They got a D-lineman up there that’s going to wreak some havoc. The Prosper Gilpin kid. He’s going to be a handful. I don’t know if you can block him so we’ll have to find a way to get around him I guess. They have a returning Quarterback. T.J. Frenchman… good player, really athletic. He’s going to make a lot of plays. And they’re just pretty athletic across the board.”
Welsh says there’s some familiarity and unfamiliarity with the teams in their district.
Pender is in District D2-2 with Clarkson/Leigh, Emerson-Hubbard, Mead, Cedar Bluffs, and Omaha Christian Academy.
Welsh says the Pendragons are very familiar with the first two teams, but have never played the latter 3 before.
2018 Pender Pendragons Football Schedule:
09/07/18 @ Homer
09/14/18 @ Randolph
09/28/18 @ Cedar Bluffs
10/05/18 @ Mead
10/18/18 Omaha Christian Academy