skip navigation

Less experienced Waunakee boys' soccer will have different look in 2022

By Peter Lindblad | Waunakee Tribune, 08/26/22, 9:30AM CDT


Hit hard by graduation, the Waunakee boys soccer team will look a lot different in 2022.

Among the losses are all-state players Decker Storch, a center-defender, goalkeeper Joey Fuhremann – an honorable mention pick – and midfielder Cole Kettner.

“This year’s team will be a completely different team following the graduation of 16 seniors, requiring us to play a little different from the 3-5-2 that we played last year,” said Dave Kettner, who’s compiled a 56-15-11 record in his four years as the Warriors’ head coach.

Reinforcements have arrived, however, as Waunakee hopes to keep the train going in the Badger East, where the Warriors tied DeForest atop the standings with a 7-0-1 record. Waunakee went 16-3-5 overall in 2021, with Verona bringing the Warriors’ season to an end with a 1-0 victory in sectionals.

Last season, Waunakee topped Monona Grove 3-0 in the inaugural Badger East Championship game. The Warriors’ experience was a key factor in their success. There aren’t as many veterans around to lean on in 2022.

“We will be relying heavily on a very strong class of juniors who showed promise leading Waunakee’s top JV team in 2021,” said Kettner. “It will be hard to top the group of players that we had in both 2020 and 2021, but I think the combination of our returning players and incoming juniors should put us in a strong position again this year. But who knows?”

Also gone for the Warriors are Badger East All-Conference performers Jackson Ehle and Noah Jakel on defense, forward Drew Lavold, and midfielders Alex Hoopes and Calvin Rahn.

Varsity returnees for Waunakee include seniors Isaiah Jakel (midfielder), Stepan Khamenka (forward), Lindon Jonuzi (midfielder), and Will Reis (goalkeeper), as well as junior defender/midfielder Alex Nelson.

“Jakel is expected to step into a larger role in 2022 following a solid junior season as a regular starter for Waunakee as an outside winger, with expectations for him to play a significant role directing the attack from the center,” said Kettner. “Khamenka made significant advancements during his junior year earning a starting role by the end of the season and is expected to be a strong force as an attacking forward.”

Kettner sees Waunakee finishing among the top teams in the conference.

“Notwithstanding the losses, we have a strong group of players coming in who are eager to make sure that Waunakee continues its winning tradition,” said Kettner. “We will have plenty of strength across the midfield and forward positions with expectations to score many goals to outpace our opponents.”


Once again, the Warriors will be dueling DeForest for the top spot in the Badger East.

“DeForest has a fair amount of returning players with plenty of playing experience at the varsity level,” said Kettner. “They lost their best player (goalie), but I’m pretty confident that Kevin (Krivacek) will have his team ready to battle Waunakee for the top spot again.”

Watertown and Beaver Dam will also be in the mix, according to Kettner.

As for Waunakee, Jakel will garner the lion’s share of attention from opponents.

“Isaiah is our top player to watch,” said Kettner. “A very dynamic player who can be a force both defensively and leading the attack. He is very athletic, has great speed and strength and should be our leader on the field.”

Watch out for Khamenka, though. He could a breakout star.

“It will be interesting to see if he can rise up and be a top goal scorer now that he is out from under the shadow of last year’s senior class,” said Kettner. ‘Great foot skills and a nose for the goal, he should be our leading scorer.”

Nelson will also play a key role on both ends of the pitch.

“Alex will be our utility player seeing that he has both the skills and athleticism to play in multiple positions across the field,” said Kettner. “Don’t be surprised to see him becoming a dominant force coming from a defensive position to be a goal scorer.”

Although young, the Warriors aren’t planning on loosening their grip on the Badger East in 2022.

“Waunakee remains a very large target for teams in our division, and we will need to be ready to respond,” said Kettner.


Waunakee opens the season on Thursday, Aug. 25, at Milton, before returning home on Saturday to host perennial power Oregon.