Fueled by a big double overtime win over Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau on Friday, Baldwin-Woodville’s football team now switches gears to Middle Border Conference play. On Sept. 6, the Blackhawks travel to Amery to face the Warriors, who have struggled in their first two non-conference games against Grantsburg and Unity.
A few key players they’ll need to watch out for are Gavin Melberg, Grady Martin and Bryn Gouker.
All three are solid pass receivers for the Warriors who are quarterbacked by 6-0, 200 pound sophomore Kale Hopke.
Melberg is a triple threat with the ball - as a rusher, receiver and return man. As a ball carrier Melberg doesn’t get the ball often, but is averaging just over eight yards per carry through the first two game. He has been a go-to receiver for Hopke, however, and has eight catches already this season for 115 yards. As a kick returner, Melberg is averaging more than 20 yards per return on four tries. Look for him in the defensive backfield as well.
Martin may be better known for his defensive prowess as a 6-2, 240 pound linebacker with 24 tackles in the first two games, include two for losses. But he also leads the team in receiving yards with 123 on seven receptions. Martin also serves as the team’s kicker.
Gouker is also a solid 6-2, 175-pound receiver who collected one touchdown reception in the season opener against Grantsburg and had a 35-yard TD reception called back last week on a penalty away from the ball against Unity. He also serves as a defensive back, returner and punter. He’s returned two kicks this season for a total of 42 yards and is averaging 23 yards per punt.
Baldwin-Woodville has defeated Amery the past two years and is 2-2 against the Warriors over the last four years.