FREEDOM — The 2023 high school football season kicked off Tuesday as all teams have hit the practice field.
For the Freedom Irish they have a lot of changes heading into the 2023 season – from having a new head coach, to losing their top playmakers to graduation.
One win away from the Division 4 state title game last year, this team hopes to keep this program playing at a high level.
“It’s going to be fun hopefully,” said senior running back Noah Heinke. “I would be looking at videos on my phone and it gets me super hyped for this football season and I’m just ready to go.”
Clint Kriewaldt departed as the head coach of Freedom after last year, but in to fill his shoes was last year’s co-offensive coordinator Charlie Jadin, who also starred as a QB for the team seven years ago
“It definitely means a lot. I mean the program itself has given so much to me and just Freedom in general. To be able to kind of support that and give back to the community as well in certain ways is definitely something I’m proud of,” said Jadin.
The Irish have been a program of sustained success. They haven’t had a losing record in 13 years.
“The culture that we have built is great, right and now I’m just trying to build on top of that,” the new head coach said. “Finding ways to put my own spin on it and not lose what we have in Freedom because it is special. Our kids realize that and uphold those standards which is nice to see.”
The program lost 23 seniors to graduation including their quarterback, running back and top wide receiver. An awful lot of production and leadership to replace.
“It’s going to be definitely really difficult to fill that many shoes, but I feel like we can do that successfully,” said senior offensive and defensive lineman Reed Rohloff.
“Now it’s about moving forward,” Jadin said. “We’re not worried about what we lost. We’re worried about how we can fill those holes and the opportunity for kids to step up and lead on their own as well.”
There’s some battles to be won in camp specifically at the quarterback position which Jadin is excited to see. as for his goals in his first year as a head coach:
“One week at a time. Seize the day man. Keep winning,” Jadin said.
Freedom hosts Waupaca Friday, August 18 in their first game of the season.