Macomb Lutheran North junior wide receiver Matthew Drdul streaks up the sideline during a Sept. 20 win over Allen Park Cabrini. The Mustangs hope to catch fire and make a return trip to the playoffs.

Macomb Lutheran North junior wide receiver Matthew Drdul streaks up the sideline during a Sept. 20 win over Allen Park Cabrini. The Mustangs hope to catch fire and make a return trip to the playoffs.

Photo by Erin Sanchez


Lutheran North football coach likes young team’s moxie

By: Jason Carmel Davis | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published October 3, 2019

 Second-year Macomb Lutheran North football coach Garrett Wenzelburger watches from the sidelines during a win over Allen Park Cabrini. The Mustangs’ next game is against Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood at 7 p.m. Oct. 11 at home.

Second-year Macomb Lutheran North football coach Garrett Wenzelburger watches from the sidelines during a win over Allen Park Cabrini. The Mustangs’ next game is against Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood at 7 p.m. Oct. 11 at home.

Photo by Erin Sanchez

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MACOMB TOWNSHIP — The team thus far hasn’t had the success it saw in his first year, but second-year Macomb Lutheran North football coach Garrett Wenzelburger believes this year’s squad has similar characteristics.

Last year’s team ended the program’s seven-year playoff drought.

“This team is much younger (than last year’s), but is similar in that they are very teachable and a positive group,” said Wenzelburger, whose team sat at 2-3 overall and 1-1 in the Catholic High School League Intersectional No. 1 Division at press time. “The consistency of the staff from last year to this year has much to do with that.”

The team still has an outside shot at a division title, as three of the four divisional foes had one league loss after Week 5. First-place Riverview Gabriel Richard was 2-0.

North is still hopeful to make a second straight playoff trip, Wenzelburger said.

“It starts with great practices and a great effort on Friday night,” said Wenzelburger, whose team was averaging 18 points per game through Week 5. “If we can do those things, it sets us up for a return to the playoffs and so much more.”

The Mustangs have solid players at every position, but it’s the first-year varsity players who are beginning to make an impact, according to the coach.

Leading the way, though, is a group of veterans. The group comprises three senior captains — quarterback Angelo Basilico, lineman Jacob Kukuk and wide receiver/defensive back Alec Vandermeer. Other players leading the way are senior wide receivers/defensive backs Gary Glaser and Justin Slaski, along with senior running back/defensive lineman Tyler Davey and junior wide receiver/linebacker Matthew Drdul.

“As a staff, we look to those guys when it comes time to make big plays and to lead the team,” Wenzelburger said. “Drdul is a player who doesn’t get much attention, but like most of our guys, he’s (on the field) for every play, and we are asking him to make big plays.”

Drdul relishes his role.

“I always play with the mindset that if I get the chance to make a play, I better make a play,” Drdul said. “It’s an honor to be called an unsung hero on this team. I’m just playing for the guy next to me.”

Six wins locks up a trip to the postseason. Five-win teams have a shot based on their strength of schedule.

Wenzelburger said if his team is to give itself a shot at the playoffs, consistency is key.

“When you have a young team, consistency is sometimes lacking,” Wenzelburger said. “You’ll have two great drives, then make mental mistakes on the third. Those are the types of things that separate the average teams from the good and great teams.”

“We all need to execute (and do) our jobs and focus on doing what we are in charge of,” Drdul added. “The playoffs are achievable and in reach.”

North’s next game is against Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood at 7 p.m. Oct. 11 at home.

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