Westby Football believes ‘game will slow down’ this year for QB Ellefson

Junior quarterback lost top 2019 wide receivers Armbruster, Spears to graduation

Westby AD and football head coach Andy Hulst says it’s been tough trying to organize the first week of practice and scheduling games when each county seems to have its own health protocol.

Despite the obstacles, the Norsemen are set to open the 2020 season in a few weeks, and Hulst expects the offense to show more balance than a season ago.

The Norsemen graduate senior wideouts Davontae Spears and Joe Armbruster, who totaled 815 receiving yards, eight touchdowns, and who caught 73 percent of QB Dillon Ellefson’s completions a year ago.

For Hulst, developing new leadership and chemistry is most important to aid in Ellefson’s growth as a junior.

“We don’t get the long three-hour practices like we do in August, so these shortened practices to start a season are a challenge,” Hulst said. “And trying to come together quickly as we get ready for our first game.

“Dillon will grow and mature physically and mentally this year, and I think the game will slow down a little bit, so he’s going to have some new targets to throw to, and maybe they’re not going to be as dynamic as what we’ve had in the past, but we have some good receivers and possession guys.”

Ellefson completed 69 passes for 1,030 yards and eight touchdowns to six interceptions as a sophomore.

The Norsemen also hope to close out more ballgames this season. Last year, four of their seven losses were decided by single digits. To avoid a repeat of that trend, Hulst will add in more conditioning drills mid-practice to ensure the athletes will have enough to finish out four full quarters.

Westby has its first game Oct. 2 at Richland Center.