Budde, in his fourth season as Woodstock’s head coach after spending 12 as an assistant, had his best season in 2010 — his first after succeeding Mike O’Brien — when the Wolverines went 7-4 and reached the state playoffs. Since then, however, the team’s gone 4-6 and 3-7.
At 2-4 so far this season, Woodstock would need to win its final four games — including one against archrival Etowah — to finish with a winning record.
At 1-2 in Region 5AAAAAA, the Wolverines still have a shot at the state playoffs, but they would need to win at least three of their final four games. That mission begins tonight at Roswell (3-3, 1-2).
“We are just talking about going out there and playing a complete game,” Budde said.
Budde has seen his team play well on offense, defense and special teams.
He just hasn’t seen it all happen in the same game.
“We haven’t put all three together,” he said. “We need to start putting them all together and then minimize the errors that we are making.”
Throughout the season, Woodstock has looked to different players to step up. Two players that have excelled in new roles are senior linebackers Jean Boereau and Ethan Wheeler.
Boereau played primarily as a running back last season, but with the Wolverines having lost quite a bit of depth at the linebacker position, a move was warranted. He has taken to the new role and is among the top tacklers in the county with 55 on the season.
“He is real aggressive and will run to the ball and hit you when he gets there, so we put him over there on defense and he has done a good job for us,” Budde said of Boereau. “We knew that Jean could help the team, more so at linebacker than he could at running back. For him to step over there and buy into that and go at it 100 percent is the most satisfying thing.”
Wheeler, who didn’t start last season, has also stepped in and made an impact. He is currently leading the team with 64 tackles, included 40 solo.
“He stepped in at outside linebacker and is really having a good year,” Budde said.
Budde said it’s nice to see players succeeding on the field and contributing to the team.
“You coach and you get into the game to see these kids be successful, and for them to realize what they can do makes it all worth it,” he said.
Coming off a bye week, Budde said the players are eager to get back on the field.
“They are ready to get back after it,” he said. “I think, at this point in time in the year, there is maybe one spot on your whole body that isn’t hurting. After a week off, maybe we have two spots on our bodies that don’t hurt. It was a week off to refresh, and we have a couple kids that got back to being healthier.”
A win at this point of the season would be key for Woodstock.
“If we want to play 11 games this year to make it to the playoffs, we need to win this one,” Budde said.