Versatile athletes will lead the West Allis Hale football team into the 2016 season.

The quarterback will be Michael Johnson, who saw some time at that spot last season as well as at receiver and defensive back.

"Mikey has all of the tools to be successful and lead our offense," head coach Brandon Ehret said. "He has a strong arm and is a true student of the game."

Junior Thomas Hines is another player who will see time at various positions this season. Hines, who started at defensive back last season, will play receiver and running back this time around.

"Thomas is one of the fastest kids in the Greater Metro Conference, and we need to get the ball in his hands," Ehret said. "He has impressive foot speed and we're looking for him to be a dynamic player for us."

Breznik stands tall

Jordan Breznik, standing at 6 feet 7 inches and 200 pounds, is another athletic player who will give Johnson a large target at tight end.

"Jordan is a young man who has worked very hard to get to where he is," the coach said. "He's had great development these last couple of seasons. A 6-7 target is great to have in the middle of the field."

Sophomore Zach Paddock and senior Christian Slotke will share time at tailback, and senior Aaron Schmidt will play at fullback. Also taking the wide receiver spots are junior Jacob Phillips and Brandon Barr.

The Hale offensive line features two-year starter Tyler Shock (5-10, 250) at guard as well as seniors Jacob Kruse, Marc Diaz, Nikk Regalia and Alec Grzesk.

Justin Kontny (5-11, 210) tops the linebacker group. He earned first-team all-conference honors after collecting 86 tackles, including nine for loss, and three sacks.

"Justin has an exceptional work ethic and leads by example in everything he does," Ehret said. "He's physical at the point of attack and has a never-ending motor."

Also at linebacker are seniors Michael Schmidt and Brad Foster and juniors Jonathon Rau and Parker Rutowski.

Kruse will return at defensive end, and Sam Valona is a returning starter in the defensive backfield. He will be joined by seniors Alex Ramirez and Jack Ratajewski.

Strong senior group

"I really like where we're at with this group," Ehret said. "We have a strong senior class which leads by example, demonstrates great attitude and is finding out what it takes to be successful."

Hale has already been hit by injuries, losing senior receiver Justin Moore to a torn ACL in June and senior linebacker Tyler O'Brien, who underwent surgery for a bone chip in a knee.

The Huskies open at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19, at Waterford, which has been a strong program in recent seasons.

Player to watch: Thomas Hines, who possesses good speed and will play at running back and wide receiver for the Huskies. He is expected to be a big playmaker.

Keep an eye on: the Huskies' ability to finish off games. Last season, they lost fourth-quarter leads in three defeats during their 3-6 campaign, and they will need to close out foes.

We say: Hale appears to have the athleticism to be strong on both sides of the ball but will face plenty of tests in the always-strong GMC.

All-conference returnees

First team: Justin Kontny (LB)

Second team: None

Honorable mention: Justin Moore (WR)

First-team losses: Miguel Alvarado (OL), Andre Siggers (RB), Ben Swanson (DB), Dom O’Brion (LB)

Coach: Brandon Ehret

Glance back

Overall: 3-6

Conference: 3-4

Outcome: Did not make playoffs

Last year (home in bold)

Waterford L 18-7

South Milwaukee L 20-14

Brookfield Central L 27-20

Brookfield East L 38-7

West Allis Central W 18-7

Sussex Hamilton L 20-14

Wauwatosa East W 28-3

Menomonee Falls W 21-14

Marquette University L 35-7


Aug. 19 Waterford

Aug. 26 South Milwaukee

Sept. 2 Brookfield Central

Sept. 9 Brookfield East

Sept. 16 West Allis Central

Sept. 23 Sussex Hamilton

Sept. 30 Wauwatosa East

Oct. 7 Menomonee Falls

Oct. 14 Marquette University