Team of the Week: Pewamo-Westphalia keeps conference streak alive despite numerous injuries

Team of the week

PEWAMO-WESTPHALIA, Mich. (WLNS) – Through the course of six weeks, the Pewamo-Westphalia football team has seen a number of key players go down with season-ending injuries.

Senior quarterback, Cam Cook, senior wide receiver and defensive back, Brock Thelen, senior running back and defensive back, Tanner Bengel, senior wide receiver and defensive back Connor Bengel, junior wide receiver, Connor Pohl, and junior lineman, Cade Stump have all suffered injuries this season.

Despite all that, the Pirates still found a way to capture its seventh-straight outright Central Michigan Athletic Conference title this past Friday and improve to 8-0 this season.

“Week Three, I think it was against Dansville, we lost Tanner and then we lost another one that week. We lost two in Olivet. We lost two against Fowler. I mean, it really was like an avalanche,” P-W football coach Jeremy Miller said at practice on Thursday.

Not even last year, when the Pirates lost their season due to COVID-19, compares to what the team has had to go through this season.

“As a coach, it’s the most difficult thing I’ve had to deal with just because you have seniors, who have given so much. You watch some play, that they’ve probably done 1,000 times, and for whatever reason, this time, something gave out,” Miller said. “They’re just laying there (on the ground hurt) and your heart just breaks for them.”

When a player has gone down, another player has stepped up. That is exactly what players like junior quarterback, Troy Wertman and, senior running back, Dak Ewalt have done this year.

“We just knew we had to step up. We knew it was our year, our last year as seniors, and we just got to keep going,” Ewalt said.

“We’ve all come together, and obviously the injuries are not what you want to see at all, but we have guys all throughout the roster that just step up and make plays,” Wertman said.

That next-man-up mentality is what’s led the P-W to a perfect record this season, and despite dealing with the injuries this season, the players that are hurt are still showing up to practice to help the team.

“When we’re running the offense or defense, they’re always there giving us tips. It’s not like they’re not a part of the team anymore. They’re still there in every way,” Wertman said.

“I give them credit, they still come every day and support their team, but they’re not out there doing what they usually do,” Miller said. “We’ve struggled a little bit in that sense, finding that identity and finding that leader, but kids are stepping up and I’m very proud of that.”

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