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Published August 18 2012

Eastern Dakota Conference football previews

Devils Lake

Coach: Jay Schneider (seventh year)

2011 record: 6-4

Players to watch: Nathan Mertens, Sr., QB/DB; Chase Johnson, Sr., LB/TE; Austin Schall, Jr., RB/DB.

Coach’s comments: “We need to get our offensive and defensive line play to improve quickly,” Schneider said. “We are not a very deep team after losing 24 seniors from last year’s team that was co-EDC champions.”

Schedule: Aug. 24-Jamestown, 7 p.m.; Aug. 31-Mandan, 7 p.m.; Sept. 7-at Bismarck, 7 p.m.; Sept. 14-Fargo North, 7 p.m.; Sept. 21-at Fargo South, 7 p.m.; Sept. 29-Grand Forks Central, 3 p.m.; Oct. 5-at Grand Forks Red River, 7 p.m.; Oct. 12-at West Fargo, 7 p.m.; Oct. 17-at Fargo Davies, 7 p.m.

Fargo Davies

Coach: Jason Thielges (third year)

2011 record: 2-8

Players to watch: Eric Peterson, Sr., TE/LB; Chris Hennen, Jr., OL/DL; Dylan Hughes, Jr., RB/DB; Aaron Irmen, RB/DL; Alek Groth, Jr., RB/DB.

Coach’s comments: “We return a really experienced group,” Thielges said. “A lot of the kids have played a couple years now. … They are pretty dialed in and know what we want to do.”

Schedule: Aug. 24-at Fargo Shanley, 7 p.m.; Aug. 31-at Bismarck, 5 p.m.; Sept. 7-West Fargo, 7 p.m.; Sept. 14-at Grand Forks Red River, 7 p.m.; Sept. 21-Minot, 7 p.m.; Sept. 28-at Fargo North, 7 p.m.; Oct. 5-Fargo South, 7 p.m.; Oct. 11-at Grand Forks Central, 7 p.m.; Oct. 17-Devils Lake, 7 p.m.

Fargo North

Coach: Kelly Kalina (fifth year)

2011 record: 3-6

Players to watch: Tyrell Schloesser, Jr., DL; Seth Tollefson, Sr., DB; Matt Connelly, Sr., LB/WR; Avery Thompson, Jr., QB; Andrew Uglem, Jr., WR; Peter Saintal, Sr., RB; Seth Brenneman, Jr., DB/WR; Brennan Bonn, Sr., OL/DL; Austin Laney, Sr., DL; Hunter Slemmons, Jr., LB; Olaf Hanson, Jr., OL; Jeremiah Goodman, Jr., OL/DL; Derek Pladson, Jr., OL/LB.

Coach’s comments: “We are very happy that 15 out of the 22 positions from last year on offense and defense are back,” Kalina said. “We have to fill up those tough positions, quarterback, center, wide receiver, a couple defensive backs, but we have a ton of experience everywhere else.”

Schedule: Aug. 24-at Minot, 8 p.m.; Aug. 31-Fargo Shanley, 7 p.m.; Sept. 7-Fargo South, 7 p.m.; Sept. 14-at Devils Lake, 7 p.m.; Sept. 21-Grand Forks Central, 5 p.m.; 28-Fargo Davies, 7 p.m.; Oct. 5-at West Fargo, 7 p.m.; Oct. 11-Grand Forks Red River, 7 p.m.; Oct. 17-at Bismarck Century, 7 p.m.

Fargo South

Coach: Troy Mattern (third year)

2011 record: 4-6

Players to watch: Zach Reich, Sr., RB; Trevor Raymond, Sr., RB; Christian May, Sr., OL; Son Le, Sr., OL; Austin Wicklund, Sr., LB; Josh Verghis, Sr., WR; Zack Kellen, Jr., QB; Joe Mehrer, Jr., OL; Drew Fahrman, Jr., OL; Tyler Trefethren, Jr., DL.

Coach’s comments: “Our goal as a coaching staff is to create depth,” Mattern said of the Bruins, who return 16 starters from last year. “ We feel 3A football is senior dominated, and to be able to have the senior class we do with the leadership that we do is great to see.”

Schedule: Aug. 24-Bismarck Century, 5 p.m.; Aug. 31-at Faribault, Minn., 7 p.m.; Sept. 7-at Fargo North, 7 p.m.; Sept. 14-Grand Forks Central, 7:30 p.m.; Sept. 21-Devils Lake, 5 p.m.; Sept. 28-West Fargo, 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 5-at Fargo Davies, 7 p.m.; Oct. 12-at Dickinson, 5 p.m.; Oct. 17-at Grand Forks Red River, 4:30 p.m.

Grand Forks Central

Coach: Bill Lorenz (sixth year)

2011 record: 3-6

Players to watch: Rylie Devier, Sr., WR/LB; Carrington Adams, Sr., WR/DB; Zane Reller, Sr., WR/DB; Seferino Hernandez, Sr., OL/DL; Dustin Marynik, Sr., WR/DB; Jason Mastel, Sr.

Coach’s comments: “We return eight players that started at different times throughout the year on the defensive side of the ball, and we will be relying on those kids to step up and make plays early on,” Lorenz said.

Schedule: Aug. 24-at Mandan, 7 p.m.; Aug. 31-Minot, 7 p.m.; Sept. 7-Grand Forks Red River, 7 p.m.; Sept. 14-at Fargo South, 7:30 p.m.; Sept. 21-at Fargo North, 5 p.m.; Sept. 29-at Devils Lake, 3 p.m.; Oct. 5-at Jamestown, 7 p.m.; Oct. 11-Fargo Davies, 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 17-West Fargo, 7:30 p.m.

Grand Forks Red River

Coach: Vyrn Muir (ninth year)

2011 record: 6-4

Players to watch: Bryan Bjerk, Sr., OL/DL.

Fast facts: Lost to Mandan 34-0 in the Class 3A state playoffs a year ago … Lost seniors Taylor Steen (QB/LB) and Logan Ferry (RB/LB) to graduation … The Roughriders have never won a state championship in football.

Schedule: Aug. 24-Williston, 7 p.m.; Aug. 31-at Jamestown, 7 p.m.; Sept. 7-Grand Forks Central, 7 p.m.; Sept. 14-Fargo Davies, 7 p.m.; Sept. 21-at West Fargo, 7 p.m.; Sept. 28-Mandan, 7 p.m.; Oct. 5-Devils Lake, 7 p.m.; Oct. 11-at Fargo North, 7 p.m.; Oct. 17-Fargo South, 4:30 p.m.

West Fargo

Coach: Jay Gibson (22nd year)

2011 record: 3-6

Players to watch: Brody Mertz, Sr., OL/DL; Drew Johnson, Sr., OL/LB; Caleb Mattila, Sr., TE/LB; Shelby Schulz, Sr., RB/LB.

Coach’s comments: “We are looking to get more of a running game going,” Gibson said. “We were poor at running the ball last year. The receiving corps should be the strong point. The passing game should be the strong point so we need to develop a running game.”

Schedule: Aug. 24-Bismarck, 7 p.m.; Sept. 1-at Bismarck Century, 7 p.m.; Sept. 7-at Fargo Davies, 7 p.m.; Sept. 14-Williston, 6 p.m.; Sept. 21-Grand Forks Red River, 7 p.m.; Sept. 28-at Fargo South, 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 5-Fargo North, 7 p.m.; Oct. 12-Devils Lake, 7 p.m.; Oct. 17-at Grand Forks Central, 7:30 p.m.