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The struggles of the Wauwatosa East football program have been well-documented.

First-year head coach Matt Kender, who was hired in April to replace Mike Richards, is trying to eliminate the past from the thought process of the current members of the program.

"We're trying to get guys to think whatever was done in the past is in the past, and that you need to embrace what we are doing now," Kender said. "Our biggest thing is trying to get guys to trust us, trust the scheme and hopefully, you will see that it works."

However, there's no denying Kender and his staff have work to do at Wauwatosa East.

The Red Raiders are 7-55 and 4-45 in the Greater Metro Conference over the last seven years, including three winless seasons and four winless conference seasons.

"I really like the fact that this is a clean slate for everybody," said Kender, who spent the last eight years as the offensive coordinator at UW-Eau Claire. "Let's go out there and do the things we want to implement. The buy-in should be there."

Offensively, Wauwatosa East will be led by senior quarterback Luke Lindemann and junior running back Avery Luckett.

The Red Raiders will have to replace wide receiver Ryan Kelnhofer, who was a first-team All Greater Metro selection despite Wauwatosa East scoring just three offensive touchdowns last season.

"Luke Lindemann has done a good job taking charge," Kender said. "Avery Luckett has been a good leader. Those are a couple of guys that are going to get the football a bit that are pretty talented. They are guys that we are going to look to."

Former Milwaukee Hamilton head coach Jake Haskell will serve as Wauwatosa East's defensive coordinator.

Luckett and junior Cole Tate will start at cornerback with juniors Logan Riemer and Scott Henry at safety. Seniors Cody White and Jared Taylor have stood out in early practices at inside linebacker.

"We're trying to get guys to run to the football every play," Kender said. "Pursuit is something we've emphasized in camp a lot. We want to be assignment sound.

Player to watch: RB/CB Avery Luckett will start on both sides of the ball for the Red Raiders. He should have the ball in his hands quite a bit this season.

Keep an eye on: The health of the Red Raiders. Wauwatosa East doesn't have the depth or numbers in the program to be able to overcome injuries.

We say: Kender is trying to establish a new culture, which takes time. It will also take time for the new coaching staff to recruit additional kids into the program. A successful season for Wauwatosa East would be if the Red Raiders are able to take a step forward in those areas.

All-conference returnees

First team: None
Second team: None
Honorable mention: Jose Desardin (P)
First-team losses: Ryan Kelnhofer (WR)
Coach: Matt Kender (First year)

Glance back

Overall: 0-9
Conference: 0-7
Outcome: Did not make playoffs

Last year (home in bold)

Wauwatosa West L 17-0
Union Grove L 12-7
Menomonee Falls L 29-7
Sussex Hamilton L 37-9

Marquette University L 38-0
Brookfield East L 42-0
West Allis Hale L 28-3
Brookfield Central L 35-6
West Allis Central L 16-9

Schedule

Aug. 19 Wauwatosa West
Aug. 26 Union Grove
Sept. 2 Menomonee Falls
Sept. 9 Sussex Hamilton
Sept. 16 Marquette University
Sept. 23 Brookfield East
Sept. 30 West Allis Hale
Oct. 7 Brookfield Central
Oct. 14 West Allis Central

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