Dan Gustafson: Congratulations on your win over Minneapolis North. What did your team take away from that victory?
Brad Anderson: The big thing is that it was a game where you had the opportunity to play a lot of kids. A lot of kids it was their first time in a varsity game, and they were very excited by the experience. Number 2, I thought offensively we executed fairly well in the first half, when our starters were in. I thought we came out of the game ready. Defensively, I don’t think we had the same intensity that we played with the previous few weeks, but I thought we still played pretty well overall.
DG: Who are some of the future starters we saw play?
BA: I’m not going to pick out any one or two kids, but we saw a lot of kids who next year are going to be on the field for us. The neat thing was we had a number of sophomores dressing, and for them to get a chance to dress for a varsity game was really big. We didn’t have an A game last week for the sophomores, so we dressed our A team sophomores and a lot of those kids got to experience their first touchdown, their first varsity block, or their first varsity tackle. Hopefully for them, that will do a lot towards getting them ready for next year.
DG: So your defense wasn’t as intense as you would have like to have seen?
BA: I think defensively, we had played a couple of big opponents, Apple Valley the previous week who had been undefeated, and when we played Minnetonka they were undefeated. I think this was a game, out of conference, that we don’t normally play very often. Because of that our players maybe looked past them knowing they were going to play Hopkins this week. That’s my only possible explanation. A lot of those players were thinking about playing this week.
DG: What do you know about Hopkins?
BA: Very talented team. We saw that when this group of seniors were sophomores, we thought they had great talent, maybe the best talent as far as speed goes in the conference, maybe in the state. They have 3 or 4 kids who can really run, and so they put a lot of pressure on you defensively. They have a quarterback [Sean Borman] who can throw the ball extremely well. He has been out the last couple of weeks, but we expect him to play against us. Defensively, they have improved week to week to week. I thought their best performance was last weekend against Rosemount, and I expect them to come out and play very well against us.
DG: How important is this game in your schedule?
BA: It’s important for a couple of reasons. 1 is, and we keep talking about this, I think Conference Titles are still important, and our players believe that. S0 number 1 we know that in order to win the conference, this is a game we need to win. Number 2, in our section, for us to get the #1 seed in our section, which is a desirable thing to have, we know we probably have to win out. So in two ways, this is a very important game. If we do happen to come out without the win, we do know that we have done pretty well in the past in the playoffs if we have a loss, so it’s more important to play a good team and play well that it is to win at this point, but it is important to win as well.
DG: What has Coach Lombardi been doing to prepare your defensive team for Sean Borman, Montez Wilkerson, and the no huddle shotgun spread offense Hopkins runs?
BA: We are very fortunate in that fact that we have a number of players out in the program, and we have some very good players who might not be starters but they can give us a really good look on scout. We have had a good week of practice because of our scout team. We have some players who can really stretch the field and do somethings, maybe not to the same speed that Hopkins can, but we have been able to give our defense a good scout look this week. I think that has been the number 1 thing he has been able to do, which is to try to simulate what they are going to see on Friday during the week with some of our players.
DG: Has the team responded well to that?
BA: We had very good practices [this week]… We’ll find out tomorrow night how well we prepared.
DG: Is your offensive team prepared to score a number of touchdowns if it does turn into a shootout?
BA: Our goal every possession is, we say we want to kick the ball after every possession–extra point, field goal, or even to punt the ball is our goal. If you get into a shootout, punting and field goals might not be enough. Our goal, every possession though, is to kick the ball and not turn the ball over. If we do that, I think it will all take care of itself.
DG: Congratulations on your win over Minneapolis North, and all the best to you as you take on Hopkins tomorrow night. We will be watching!
BA: I think it will be a fun game for fans to watch. It will two really good teams going at it.
The 2008 Wayzata Football Trojans take on the Hopkins Royals Friday night, October 3rd, 2008 at Hopkins. If you are wondering where to go, head out to 2400 Lindberg Drive, Minnetonka, MN 55305. The football field is located to the west of the Lindberg Center, and you can park on the north side of the building.