The fall sports season is right around the corner and the Bluejay varsity practices kicked off earlier this week. Some teams have announced their captains for the season and its time for you to get to know them a little better. The Bluejay football team boasts four senior captains in Blake Wendland, Denver Daniel, Jack Rolling and Jacob Hertzog.

BLAKE WENDLAND

Wendland is excited about what being a senior brings to the field. He describes that his confidence level has risen this season in comparison to his junior year. Wendland also comes for the wrestling during the winter season and participates in track and field during the spring. Wendland plays running back and free safety and also mentions that of the three sports in which he participates football is his favorite to play. 

Personal Goals: "I think like everyone else on the team I want us to be the best team we can be. I think we have more potential that we ever have had before so it's really exciting. So, I want to do my part and help the team get as far as we can and be apart of something bigger than myself," Wendland said.

Team Goals: "Like every team we want to win a championship. I think every kid dreams of winning a state championship but I think this year and for this team it is very attainable. I think we can do it so I think our team goal is no secret. We want to go to the bank [U.S. Bank Stadium] and end the season on a victory instead of a loss," Wendland said.

"Football is the most rewarding and the team aspect I love. No hate to wrestling or track but there is not as much as a team atmosphere, there is more or a solo type of contest," Wendland said.

When it comes to personal and team improvement over the off-season Blake mentions that the team lifts three days a week that helped their overall growth headed into this fall.

Favorite experience as a Bluejay: "One of the coolest moments as a Bluejay was the whole playoffs last year. Winning a couple of those big games, beating Hutchinson in a playoff like that was awesome. We kind of  kicked them around a little bit.  I don't think I have seen some of my coaches happier than that moment, that was a cool moment and then when we beat Winona, that was quite a moment and a proud moment for the Bluejays," Wendland said.

Favorite food: Hawaiian pizza

Favorite vacation spot: Going to the beach, Hilton Head South Carolina

Favorite sport to watch: Vikings football

Favorite athlete: J.J. Watt

Biggest fan: Definitely my mom

Favorite movie: Gladiator

JACK ROLLING

Captain Jack Rolling says he does not have any personal goals this season and is focused on helping the team play cohesively this season. The only goal he has in mind is to help his team win a state championship this season and to play as a team. Rolling is a two-sport athlete and also plays on the hockey team during the winter.

Favorite experience as a Bluejay: "Probably last year when we went to the state semi-finals. You could just see the whole community coming together and supporting a team whether that be last years football semi-finals or last year at the basketball state championship. You just see everyone come together and support a team or the players so it's a really great place to be," Rolling said.

Rolling also talks about how the team has worked hard in the off season with conditioning as well as in the weight room to get stronger for this fall. He also expects everyone to step up this season and do their part.

"I think we have really good leadership this year. I think us as captains that are seniors and even quite a few juniors are going to step up and take a pretty big leadership role and I feel like that is what is going to lead us to a successful season. Kyreese Willingham and Ryan Dufault will be really good juniors for us and Tave Ball," Rolling said.

Favorite food: Pepperoni pizza

Favorite vacation: Canada

Favorite sport to watch: Hockey

Favorite sport to play: Football

Biggest fan: My mom

Favorite Athlete: Conor McGregor

Favorite movie: Tommy Boy

JACOB HERTZOG

Senior Jacob Hertzog says his main focus is to strive to help make the team better which will hopefully lead to a state championship. The bar remains high for this team and he says the only expectation for this team is to work towards reaching the state championship.

Favorite memory as a Bluejay: Being able to compete with the bigger schools at such a high level, that's a great experience. Having community support, that's probably one. When we were at the bank [U.S. Bank Stadium] you know its not just one section of the crowd, it was four or five different sections of the crowd. It was going around town after that game even though we lost people saying good job everywhere we went," Hertzog said.

Although he is excited for the football season to begin Hertzog is also looking forward to the wrestling season along with graduating next spring. He said this off season the captains have been consistent with communicating to players how imperative it is to get in the weight room and put in the work for this upcoming year.

Favorite food: Lasanga 

Favorite vacation spot: Redwood forest in California

Favorite sport to compete in: Wrestling

Favorite sport to watch: Football

Biggest fan: My mom

Favorite athlete: Bo Jackson

Favorite movie: Blazing Saddles

DENVER DANIEL

Denver Daniel is the fourth captain of the Waseca football team and like his co-captains his only goal is to win games and make it back to U.S. Bank stadium. He's focusing on helping the team chemistry grow throughout the season and is following his dad's steps who is a former Bluejay football player.

Favorite moment as a Bluejay: "I would have to saying making it to the bank last year, that was really cool," Daniel said.

Daniel said he is looking forward to being back under the lights on Friday nights for his senior year and he also competes in wrestling and as well as baseball during the summer. He plays running back and linebacker and makes it clear that football is his favorite sport.

Favorite food: pasta

Favorite vacation spot: Up north at his cabin near Walker, Minnesota

Favorite sport to watch: Football

Biggest fan: My mom

Favorite athlete: Adam Thielen

Favorite movie: Stepbrothers 

Reach Sports reporter Shafin Khan at 507-835-4283.

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