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Published August 18 2012

Western Dakota Association football previews

Bismarck

Coach: Dave Colby (interim head coach, first year); Mark Gibson (14th year).

2011 record: 11-1 (defending North Dakota Class 3A state champions)

Players to watch: Layne Johns, Sr., TB; Riley Plant, Sr., FB-LB; Jake Neubauer, Sr., OL; Brett Adam, Sr., DL/WR; Josh Seibel, Sr., WR/DB; Ben Jolliffe, Sr., QB; Lee Braungael, Sr., DB; Nick Goulet, Sr., DB; James O’Hern, Sr., OL; Jamie Thorson, Sr., OL; Brennan Fetch, Sr., LB; Justin Thorson, Sr., LB; Nick Kottre, Sr., WR/DB; Brandon Schmid, Sr., DB.

Fast facts: The Demons will be without head coach Mark Gibson, who announced he will be taking a leave of absence for medical and person reasons and assistant coach Dave Colby will be the interim head coach … The Deamons won the 2011 North Dakota Class 3A state championship by defeating Bismarck Century 21-3 last season … Bismarck has won 11 state championships.

Schedule: Aug. 24-at West Fargo, 7 p.m.; Aug. 31-Fargo Davies, 5 p.m.; Sept. 7-Devils Lake, 7 p.m.; Sept. 14-Bismarck Century, 7 p.m.; Sept. 21-at Dickinson, 9 p.m.; Sept. 28-Jamestown, 7 p.m.; Oct. 4-Mandan, 7 p.m.; Oct. 11-at Minot. Oct. 17-at Williston, 7 p.m.

Bismarck Century

Coach: Ron Wingenbach (23rd year)

2011 record: 10-2 (state runner-up in Class 3A)

Players to watch: Charles Arnold, Sr., WR/DB; Adam Chausee, Sr., OL/DL; Tony DaSilva, Sr., OL/DE; Brennan Doan, Sr., WR/DB; Braxton Felch, Sr., WR/DB; Jared Fischer, Sr., QB/LB; Ryan Gesellchen, Sr., WB/LB; Chris Gustin, Sr., OL/DL.

Fast Facts: The Patriots have never won a state championship in football … Century has won seven Western Dakota Association championships.

Schedule: Aug. 24-at Fargo South, 5 p.m.; Sept. 1-West Fargo, 7 p.m.; Sept. 7-at Dickinson, 8 p.m.; Sept. 14-at Bismarck, 7 p.m.; Sept. 21-at Jamestown, 7 p.m.; Sept. 29-Minot, 7 p.m.; Oct. 5-Williston, 6:30 p.m.; Oct. 11-Mandan, 7 p.m.; Oct. 17-Fargo North, 7 p.m.

Dickinson

Coach: Dennis Morris (third year)

2011 record: 2-12

Players to watch: Jordan Krieg, Sr., TE/DE; Dylan Skabo, Jr., QB/S; Michael Cherwinski, Jr., RB; Mitchell Mehrer, Jr., OL/DE; Jace Dukart, Jr., RB/DB; Levi Jordheim, Jr., WR/LB; Blake Vance, Jr., OL/LB; Taren Staudinger, Sr., WR/DB.

Fast facts: Dickinson returns 13 players that started a varsity game last season … Krieg, Cherwinski and Skabo are all three-year starters and were named All-WDA selections a year ago … The Midgets have won three WDA titles, with one state championship coming in 1997.

Schedule: Aug. 24-at Glendive, Mont., 8 p.m.; Aug. 31-Miles City, Mont., 8 p.m.; Sept. 7-Bismarck Century, 8 p.m.; Sept. 14-at Jamestown, 7 p.m.; Sept. 21-Bismarck; 9 p.m.; Sept. 28-at Williston, 7 p.m.; Oct. 5-Minot, 7 p.m.; Oct. 12-Fargo South; 6 p.m.; Oct. 17-at Mandan, 7 p.m.

Jamestown

Coach: Tim Fletcher (first year)

2011 record: 0-9

Players to watch: Matt Grounds, Sr., QB/DB; Anthony Cook, Sr., RB/LB; Cullen Goter, Sr., OL/DL; Tyler Hennings, Sr., OL/DL; Ryan Hillerud, Sr., RB/LB; Tyler Johnson, FB/LB; Jace Grugel, Sr., WR/DB; Sean Lindberg, Sr., WR/DB; Rob Bollinger, Jr., OL/DL.

Fast facts: The Blue Jays haven’t won a state championship in football since 1956 … Jamestown was plagued by injuries last season and returns eight seniors.

Schedule: Aug. 24-at Devils Lake, 7 p.m.; Aug. 31-Grand Forks Red River, 7 p.m.; Sept. 7-at Mandan, 7 p.m.; Sept. 14-Dickinson, 7 p.m.; Sept. 21-Bismarck Century, 7 p.m.; Sept. 28-at Bismarck, 7 p.m.; Oct. 5-Grand Forks Central, 7 p.m.; Oct. 12-at Williston, 7 p.m.; Oct. 17-Minot, 7 p.m.

Mandan

Coach: Todd Sheldon (first year)

2011 record: 9-2

Players to watch: Chance Maxon, Sr., OL/DL; Logan McDowall, Sr., OL/DL/K; Tyler Sadowsky, Sr., RB/LB; Derik Schaner, Sr., WR/QB/DB; Nathan Schmidt, Sr., WR/DB; Brady Skytland, Sr., RB/DB; Alex Spilman, Sr., OL/DL; Shawn Berger, Sr., OL/DL.

Fast facts: Lost 32-30 to Bismarck in the Class 3A state semifinals last season … The Braves lose all-state quarterback Devin Coyle to graduation … Mandan’s defense held all but two opponents to 20 points or less a year ago and returns 12 seniors this fall.

Schedule: Aug. 24-Grand Forks Central, 7 p.m.; Aug. 31-at Devils Lake, 7 p.m.; Sept. 7-Jamestown, 7 p.m.; Sept. 14-at Minot, 8 p.m.; Sept. 21-Williston, 6:30 p.m.; Sept. 28-at Grand Forks Red River, 7 p.m.; Oct. 4-at Bismarck, 7 p.m.; Oct. 11-at Bismarck Century, 7 p.m.; Oct. 17-Dickinson, 7 p.m.

Minot

Coach: Barry Holmen (eighth year)

2011 record: 7-4

Players to watch: Brandon Van Dusen, Sr., WR; Tanner Gust, Sr., DL; Kolton Larson, Jr., LB; Ben Love, Jr., K.

Fast facts: Minot has won five state titles, with the last one coming in 1980 … Gust, Larson and Love were all-state first-team selections a year ago.

Schedule: Aug. 24-Fargo North, 7 p.m.; Aug. 31-at Grand Forks Central, 7 p.m.; Sept. 7-Williston, 7 p.m.; Sept. 14-Mandan, 7 p.m.; Sept. 21-at Fargo Davies, 7 p.m.; Sept. 29-at Bismarck Century, 7 p.m.; Oct. 5-at Dickinson, 7 p.m.; Oct. 11-Bismarck, 7 p.m.; Oct. 17-at Jamestown, 7 p.m.

Williston

Coach: James Klein (second year)

2011 record: 3-6

Players to watch: Caden Lerbakken, Sr., WR/DB; Cody Hughes, Sr., RB/LB; Markus Noeske, Sr., QB; Paul Michaelson, Sr., WR/DB; Alex Haaland, Sr., RB/LB; Isaac Erickson, Sr., WR/DB; Beau Bergeron, Sr., WR/DB; Zach Corneliusen, Sr., RB/LB; Tyler Snellings, Sr., TE/LB; Tanner Ring, Sr., OL/DL; Brandon Sandberg, Sr., OL/DL; Chris Barrett, Sr., OL/DL; Max Fitzpatrick, Sr., OL/DL; Jake Stevens, Sr., WR/LB; Justin Grindeland, Sr., TE/LB; Taylor Dopson, Sr., TE/LB.

Fast facts: Williston has won six state championships, with the last one coming in 1952 … The Coyotes play four of their first five games on the road.

Schedule: Aug. 24-at Grand Forks Red River, 7 p.m.; Aug. 31-Sidney, Mont., 8 p.m.; Sept. 7-at Minot, 8 p.m.; Sept. 14-at West Fargo, 7 p.m.; Sept. 21-at Mandan 7:30 p.m.; Sept. 28-Dickinson, 8 p.m.; Oct. 5-at Bismarck Century, 7 p.m.; Oct. 12-Jamestown, 7 p.m.; Oct. 17-Bismarck, 7 p.m.