Class D-2 - Falls City Sacred Heart vs. Exeter-Milligan

Falls City Sacred Heart's Bailey Witt (9) can't get his hands on a pass while defended by Exeter-Milligan's Sam Zeleny during a playoff game in Milligan last season. Witt moved from receiver to quarterback this season and has led the Irish to a No. 1 ranking.

Journal Star file photo

Bailey Witt would have one major topic to discuss if he had to write a "what I did last summer" essay.

Witt made the move from wide receiver to quarterback at the Falls City Sacred Heart summer camp.

"Early in the summer, Coach (Doug Goltz) told me he wanted me to try quarterback," Witt said. "But it really happened in camp. I played quarterback in eighth and ninth grades, but I was an end last year and really comfortable.

"It was exciting making the switch. If it had to be me, I'd be more than glad to do it for the team."

Goltz obviously made a good choice when he tapped Witt to take over the reins of the Irish offense. Witt has thrown for 1,079 yards, completing 57.3 percent of his passes, with 17 touchdowns and just one interception. The senior also has 561 yards rushing with 14 touchdowns, averaging 6.2 yards per carry.

Witt and the top-ranked Irish travel to Humphrey on Tuesday to take on No. 5 St. Francis at 3 p.m. in a Class D-2 playoff quarterfinal game.

"He's had a nice season for us, especially for someone who hadn't played quarterback in a long time," Goltz said. "Last year, he was a receiver and had a really good year for us. The year before, he didn't play because he had elbow surgery."

Goltz said Witt's background helped him make the switch.

"Heading into the summer, our biggest question was who would play quarterback. We tried Bailey at camp and that was it," Goltz said. "He knew the offense pretty well as a receiver, like what we do out of our formations.

"We didn't have to cut back our offense, but we did bring it along slowly because of all the new starters in the backfield."

Witt said he often relies on his old perspective of the offense.

"I can think as a receiver. It's something you have to have, knowing whether to throw it hard or soft," he said. "We do a lot of drills in practice that helped me develop that and then it was just more about experience.

"I know when I throw a ball that it could use a little more touch or a little more zip and so I know how to throw it next time."

Goltz, who is also the school's basketball coach, said Witt is naturally suited to quarterback.

"He's a point guard and he has that natural ability that some guys have who do both," Goltz said. "It wasn't very hard for him to make the move."

Reach the writer at 402-473-7314 or rhambleton@journalstar.com. On Twitter @LJS_RJHambleton.

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A Scottsbluff native, Ryly Jane graduated from UNL and worked at the Journal Star.

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