amped0808
For my second Primer I am going to take a look at the teams that will be Independent this year. This will be final year of this batch of independent before the WFCA realignment puts them into conferences in 2020. 

Hurley

2018 Record: 5-5
Points Forced-Allowed Average: 33.9-28.6
2019 Schedule Combined Opponents Win%: 46-45 (.505)
Notable Losses: Lukas Kingbird-LaPointe (OL/DL), Dakota Haanen (RB/CB), Andy Hamlin (RB/LB), Preston Gardner (LB/OL)
Notable Returnees: Kodey Henning (FB/DB), Dryden Nelson (RB/DB), Tyler Colassaco (RB/LB)

Notes: The Hurley Midgets started off their first year in the Independent ranks by going 5-4 and making the postseason for the 21st straight time. In order to make it 22 in a row, Coach Erickson and Northstars (Midgets still sound better) have to replace 1,600 yard rusher in Andy Hamlin. Daunting as that seems Hurley does return their second leading rusher in Kodey Henning who should be getting bulk of the carries going into this season. Their schedule does ramp up a bit as four of their last five games are against teams from the Marawood with a road trip to Edgar in week five. I don't see why that Hurley should be in the hunt for another postseason spot again this year regardless.

Northland Pines

2018 Record: 5-5
Points Forced-Allowed Average: 24.2-25.8
2019 Schedule Combined Opponents Win%: 44-45 (.494)
Notable Losses: Tyler Hunt (RB/LB), Nathan Hopkins (WR/DB), Tucker Wittkopf (RB/LB), Patrick Heck (LB)
Notable Returnees: Ryan Petersen (QB/DB), Foster Hakes (DB/WR), Kevin John (RB/LB)

Notes: Pines also fared reasonably well in their first year of independent play also making it in at 5-4. With very few changes to their schedule they should be in the hunt for the playoffs again. They return the key pieces in QB Ryan Petersen, WR Foster Hakes, and RB Kevin John. The Defense needs to be retooled a bit as their top three defensive players have moved on.

Wausau East

2018 Record: 2-7
Points Forced-Allowed Average: 13.11-27.67
2019 Schedule Combined Opponents Win%: 36-50 (.419)
Notable Losses: Jack Kane (QB), Trey Buchberger (WR/LB), Forrest Kronberger (OL/DL)
Notable Returnees: Matt Heinrich (QB/LB), William Nash (RB), Donovan Laverette (RB/CB)

Notes: East improved by one win last year and nearly could've had a few more but their lack of offensive punch doomed them last year. They do bring back several key pieces to the team on that side of the ball and should make some improvement again before being put back with the other WVC schools in 2020.

Predictions: Overall it's tough to gauge the Independents due to their schedules. But I feel that Pines and Hurley should be able to make the postseason again with East falling short again.

Predicted Records:

Hurley 6-3
Pines 5-4
Wausau East 2-7
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db11
Wausau East is essentially a GNC team with that schedule. Not sure they'll be able to improve on that 2-7 record from last year though.

Northland Pines has a very small margin for error looking at that schedule. Hurley may have even less, though if they can come out of the Marawood section of their schedule with two or three wins that would set them up very well come playoff time.
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amped0808
If I do recall Wausau East would've been in the GNC after this coming year if the WFCA realignment didn't occur?

I am giving Hurley the benefit of the doubt at this point. The key for them is at least getting a split in their first two games against Turtle Lake and Ashland. Ideally I most likely see them splitting their Marawood matchups this year plus beating Crandon, Rosholt and Pines. But I do agree the margin is very thin but I think Coach Erickson will have Hurley ready for the coming year.

As for Pines, I thought last year they could've gotten one or two more wins off of a rather manageable schedule (losing to Crivitz?). I think they could be in at 5-4 but they can't afford to drop games where they are figuratively the favorite in.

The key matchup for both Pines and Hurley is when they face each other in week four at Pines. A win for either side would do wonders in the quest of getting to 5 wins before the schedules ramp up for both teams in the second half of the year.
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db11
amped0808 wrote:
If I do recall Wausau East would've been in the GNC after this coming year if the WFCA realignment didn't occur?

I am giving Hurley the benefit of the doubt at this point. The key for them is at least getting a split in their first two games against Turtle Lake and Ashland. Ideally I most likely see them splitting their Marawood matchups this year plus beating Crandon, Rosholt and Pines. But I do agree the margin is very thin but I think Coach Erickson will have Hurley ready for the coming year.

As for Pines, I thought last year they could've gotten one or two more wins off of a rather manageable schedule (losing to Crivitz?). I think they could be in at 5-4 but they can't afford to drop games where they are figuratively the favorite in.

The key matchup for both Pines and Hurley is when they face each other in week four at Pines. A win for either side would do wonders in the quest of getting to 5 wins before the schedules ramp up for both teams in the second half of the year.


The fact they weren't allowed in when they left VFA still boggles me.
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