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Published August 23 2010

Metro Football Preview: Fargo Oak Grove-Park Christian

Tony Stauss has hit the ground running.

The first-year Fargo Oak Grove-Park Christian football coach has been feverishly attempting to install a new offensive and defensive scheme since he was hired in early July.

“The kids are looking for direction and leadership,” said Stauss, a former North Dakota State quarterback. “We’ve been able to put some coaches in place. As far as this year is concerned, we graduated a lot of seniors, so we’ll have a lot of new faces.”

This will be the last season of Oak Grove and Moorhead Park Christian.

The co-op, which began in 1998, will dissolve after the season to allow Park Christian to field its own Minnesota 9-man football team for 2011-12.

Stauss said his biggest challenge will be getting the Grovers ready for a grueling North Dakota, Class 2A schedule.

“The one thing we know for certain is that the competition we face week in and week out is tough,” Stauss said. “We need to be ready each and every week.”


Stauss said he is experimenting with different offensive and defensive formations.

The offensive line should be the Grovers’ strength, Stauss said.

However, Oak Grove was dealt a setback with the loss of senior captain and starting right guard Bryce Westphal to a broken leg during the first week of practice. Westphal will not play this season.

“We’ve got some guys filling in that make us a pretty deep line,” Stauss said.

The defense is more of a work in progress.

Stauss said he isn’t sure whether the Grovers will run a 4-3 or 3-4 defense in his first season.

Stauss said he’s been surprised by the turnout at fall camp. More than 40 students attended the team’s first workouts.

“We got 40 kids and, when we started, we thought we might get 20. Judging by where we are at right now I think there is room for optimism,” Stauss said.