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Meet a few Destroyers

11:53 PM, Jun. 28, 2013  |  Comments
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Who will the Door County Destroyers count on to make plays during their expansion semipro football season that begins today?

Here are a few names to watch - or to listen for over the loudspeaker following a touchdown, turnover or crushing tackle:

*Andre Wilson (WR/DB/RET): Coaches hint at a Percy Harvin, all-purpose weapon role for the Madison native and veteran semipro standout. They will try to get the ball in his hands whenever possible on offense and returns and let him do his thing. Plus, co-owner Chris LeCloux calls him a "shutdown corner" on defense. One of a handful of exceptional talents who warrants both-ways playing time. Former college basketball player at UW-Manitowoc County. "He was the main guy on all the (semipro) teams he's been with, but I didn't feel like he was used correctly," LeCloux said. "They would just send him out on fly patterns, and defenses caught on to that pretty quick."

*Nathan Smithson (QB): Led the Bay Port Pirates to a Bay Conference title as a high school senior. Played at the next level at Crown College in Minneapolis and spent a season on the practice squad of the Green Bay Blizzard professional indoor team.

*Whitney "Whit" McAfee (RB): Joined LeCloux with the Green Bay Gladiators halfway through the 2012 season and has added 20 pounds since to weigh in at 6-feet, 195 pounds. "I've gone against a lot of running backs in my day, and he cuts as quick and runs and hits as hard as any of them," LeCloux said of the Milwaukee resident.

*Jordan Parkos and Max Seroogy (WR): From down the lakeshore, Algoma lends Door County two of its former prep stars. Seroogy, who played pro ball in Europe, caught three touchdowns in a recent scrimmage. Parkos will also man one of the cornerback slots.

*Bryan Beachler (DE): Former three-sport athlete at Sturgeon Bay High School is expected to be the Destroyers' most disruptive defensive lineman at 215 pounds. Doubles as the team's strength and conditioning coach.

*Jake Wickman (RB): At 5-7, 175 he's not your prototype fullback, but the ex-Sturgeon Bay Clipper will serve as McAfee's lead blocker in two-back sets. Coaches also hope the smallish Wickman can hide behind the offensive line to spring him on some carries of his own.

*Shawn Hills (LB): LeCloux viewed Hills, 19, of Reedsville, as a potential starter when he tried out for the Gladiators right out of high school last season. He chose summer baseball instead. But now he wants a chance to play with his uncle, Destroyers' co-owner Shane Hills, before the latter retires.

*Last but not least would be LeCloux himself. He led the Packerland Conference in rushing during his senior season at Sturgeon Bay in 2002. LeCloux has packed on about 50 pounds since, having beefed up to play linebacker for two seasons at Wisconsin-La Crosse.

On the sidelines, former Sevastopol player Rob Rankin is the head coach/special teams coordinator. Jeff Jacobson, an all-state honoree at Sturgeon Bay, serves as offensive coordinator; and Kevin LeCloux, Chris' father, runs the defense.

-Mike Shaw

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If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

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