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2016 Prep Football Previews: NewCath expects to be more pass-oriented on offense this season

The NKyTribune will be providing focused coverage of NKY high school football throughout the season, thanks to support from St. Elizabeth Healthcare Sports Medicine. See all of our pre-season features on each of NKY’s 21 high school football teams and follow our coverage, including roundups each week at Northern Kentucky High School Football.

By Tom Ramstetter
NKyTribune contributor

Trent Wrobleski does a lot well for the Newport Central Catholic football team and the senior receiver/safety/punter is expected to play a large role — especially on offense — for the Thoroughbreds, who have been in the Class 2A state championship game the last four years.


NewCath is counting on quarterback Patrick Henschen, left, and wide receiver Trent Wrobleski to offset the graduation of the two leading rushers on last year’s state runner-up team. (Photo by Terry Boehmker)

Wrobleski and third-year starting quarterback Patrick Henschen will have to put up some big numbers to offset the graduation of tailback  Jake Smith and fullback John Harris. They rushed for a combined total of more than 2,000 yards on last year’s state runner-up team.

“I think it’s going to be more pass-oriented this year,” Wrobleski said. “We’ve kind of changed to more of a hurry-up offense to get the defensive on its heels. We’re going to make it a more fast-paced game and hopefully that helps us out. We’re all still learning, but it’s looking good. Hopefully it works out.”

Wrobleski gained a modest 280 yards through the air with three touchdowns in 2015. He was primarily a deep route receiver for Henschen, who is drawing interest from Miami University, Marshall, Eastern Kentucky and Western Kentucky after passing for more than 1,200 yards last season.

“They should have a good year together, that’s for sure,” NewCath coach Dan Wagner said of the passing combination. “Trent is just a very good athlete, so he ought to be able to catch it and make some big plays for us. He’s about 6-3 and can jump through the ceiling. There’s not much he can’t do.”

The coach doesn’t expect pass protection to be a problem. With veteran offensive linemen like seniors Tyler Brooks, Brady Hicks, Hunter Pittman and Dylan Donnemeyer returning there was no reason to make drastic changes in the team’s offensive schemes.

“We’re going to do the same things we’ve done in the past,” Wagner said. “The offensive line should be a strong point for us and we’ve got good size up there. We should be able to do some things. We’ll do a couple little tweaks here and there. But if the offensive line comes through like I think they can, we should be a pretty good football team offensively.”

St-E-Football-plug-768x249With the running back positions still open to competition, look for Wrobleski to be the go-to receiver in a lot of offensive plays.

“Trent Wrobleski is a very good athlete,” Wagner said. “He can go get the football and he should have a big year for us. We’re looking for a lot out of him. He runs well and if there is a jump-ball, he’s probably coming down with it. He can be a matchup problem for some people.”

Wrobleski also made some big plays as a strong safety last season. In the semifinals of the state playoffs, he returned an interception to the 2-yard line to set up a touchdown. One week earlier, he scored off two fumble recoveries in the regional finals.

Look for the senior to be a game-changer as NewCath’s punter as well. In fact, Wagner thinks he may be the best punter in the area.

“He kicks the heck out of it,” Wagner said. “He can change field position in a hurry. He kicks the ball way up in the air and it’s a 55-yard punt. You sit there and say, ‘My God.’ He can definitely be a weapon from that standpoint.”

The Thoroughbreds will need all the weapons they can employ against a challenging early-season schedule that includes games against four bigger schools — Scott, Cooper, Belfry and Conner — that beat them in 2015. NewCath started off 1-4 last season and then won eight of its last nine games to finish state runner-up in Class 2A for the third consecutive year.

“We have a lot of kids we have to replace, so we’ll see how that goes,” Wagner said. “You get in the playoffs and anything can happen. You just want to get there. We want to get back to where we were and obviously change the results (it the state finals) in Bowling Green.”


2015 SEASON: 9-6 record, lost in Class 2A state championship game.
DISTRICT: Class 2A, District 6 with Holy Cross, Lloyd and Newport.
HEAD COACH: Dan Wagner (27-17 in three seasons at NewCath).

Aug. 20 – SCOTT, 7 p.m.
Aug. 26 – at Cooper, 7 p.m.
Sept. 2 – CAMPBELL COUNTY, 7 p.m.
Sept. 9 – BELFRY, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 16 – HARRISON COUNTY, 7 p.m..
Sept. 24 – at Conner, 7 p.m.
Oct. 7 – HOLY CROSS, 7 p.m.
Oct. 14 – at Lloyd, 7 p.m.
Oct. 21 – at Newport, 7 p.m.
Oct. 28 – BEECHWOOD, 7 p.m.

Other NKyTribune prep football previews:
Dixie Heights

Covington Catholic




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