Pressed into action as QB, Wimmer impressive
HOLLIS – Sander Wimmer had no time for warm-up. No time to panic. Heck, he didn’t even have time to think.
The Hollis Brookline High School sophomore went from reserve receiver to starting quarterback a lot earlier than he ever expected in Saturday’s 2017 football pener.
Just seven plays into the season, starter Joey Delaney went down with a broken collarbone against Division 2 South powerhouse Windham High.
“Talk about a nerve-wracking experience, especially since we were playing against the No. 1 ranked team in the state,” said Wimmer. “But as the game went on, I got a little more comfortable.
Overall, Wimmer turned in a commendable effort, especially since he spent most of the afternoon trying to dodge a ferocious Jaguars’ front. In his debut, Wimmer clicked on 14 of 32 passes for 196 yards and a pair of TD passes to senior Matt Simco (6 catches, 131 yards).
As he deals with his new persona and notoriety as QB1, Wimmer picked up an education on the field, too. The football season isn’t over just because the amazing, 3-year starter Delaney’s is. Like it or not, he has to take over and lead.
Friday night under the portable lights in Hollis, he’ll make his first varsity start, at 7 p.m. against visiting Sanborn.
“I have to show these guys that I can play. I mean when I got sacked, I got right back up,” said Wimmer, who also scrambled in for the Cavs’ other TD, a 14-yard run. “I wasn’t staying down, and I wasn’t showing pain.
“It’s absolutely terrible that Joey got hurt. I’m confident in myself. But I know I can lead this team to victory.”
Wimmer, who also plays lacrosse, comes to the position with an excellent reputation. He was an all-state quarterback in youth football as an eighth-grader and was going to see plenty of varsity time this year at both safety and wide receiver.
And he earned that spot despite not playing football as a freshman. He and Quinten both chose not to play last fall.
“We missed it a lot, but we took the year off and both got bigger and stronger,” he said.
And now both are part of what could be a dangerous Division 2 offense.
Sander not only has Quinten, and the incomparable Simco, but there’s also Michael Gillespie, who also had three catches and an interception on Saturday.
“I’m definitely lucky to have them,” said Wimmer.
THIS WEEK’S MATCHUPS
Sanborn (0-1) vs. Hollis Brookline (0-1)
WHEN: Friday, 7 p.m.
WHERE: At Hollis
LAST WEEK: Windham 49, Hollis Brookline 18; St. Thomas 27, Sanborn 0
LAST YEAR: Hollis Brookline 28, Sanborn 22
FYI: There were pretty telling openers for both teams. Hollis Brookline lost its quarterback, Joey Delaney, to a broken collarbone early vs. the Jaguars. Sophomore Sander Wimmer entered and did a commendable job in relief, despite spending much of the time running for his life. The Cavaliers, playing the special night game at home under the portable lights, have to and most likely will do a better job in the trenches. Chris Hannah, on 22 carries, accounted for 156 of Sanborn’s 190 total yards in the opening loss to St. Thomas. Meanwhile, HB looked a bit susceptible against the run last week vs. Windham.
Windham (1-0) vs. Milford (0-1)
WHEN: Friday, 7 p.m.
WHERE: At Milford
LAST WEEK: Windham 49, Hollis Brookline 18; ConVal 17, Milford 14 (OT)
LAST YEAR: Windham 42, Milford 6
FYI: Windham blitzed through the South Division without a loss last year and hasn’t appeared to have taken a step backwards if last week’s win is any indication. The Jaguars have an explosive rushing game with Tommy Emrick, Royce Belski and Jake Aleksa. Windham played some pretty solid defense, too, against Hollis Brookline with nine QB sacks. Milford ran into a stingy ConVal defense in the opener and a handful of Spartan mistakes were too much to overcome. Any mistakes this time around will likely be lethal vs. the Jags.