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Published August 24 2013

Minnesota high school football preview capsules



Coach: Nathan Brager (fifth year)

2012 record: 9-2 (Lost to Nevis 38-35 in Class 9-man, Section 6 championship).

Players to watch: Lance Ruebke, Sr., WR/S; Blake Fetting, Sr., RB/S; J.D. Kappes, Sr., QB/S.

Coach’s comments: “We have a senior-led team that has a lot of athleticism. We are a little undersized, but may be able to make up for it with speed. With most of our starting offense back from last year we expect to be able to score some points.”

Schedule: Aug. 29-Climax-Fisher, 7 p.m.; Sept. 6-at Waubun, 7 p.m.; Sept 13-at Norman County East-Ulen-Hitterdal (at Ulen), 7 p.m.; Sept. 20-Moorhead Park Christian, 7 p.m.; Sept. 28-Win-E-Mac (at Fargodome), TBA; Oct. 4-Norman County West, 7 p.m.; Oct. 11-Rothsay, 7 p.m.; Oct. 16-at Warren-Alvarado-Oslo (at Warren), 7 p.m.


Coach: Jeff Risbrudt (first year)

2012 record: 4-5

Players to watch: Blake Ohren, Sr., QB; Gage Olson, Sr., RB/LB; Reed Hanson, Sr., WR/S; Toby Wach, Sr., TE/DE; Jeff Berglund, Sr., OL/DT; Hunter Fick, Jr., FB/LB.

Coach’s comments: “Our strength will be the number of returning starters on both offense and defense. We have our top passer, rusher, receiver returning, along with out top five tacklers from last season. In order to be successful in the Pheasant Conference, we believe we have to establish a balanced attack with a strong running and passing game. We believe we can do both very well.”

Schedule: Aug. 30-Wheaton-Herman-Norcross, 7 p.m.; Sept. 6-at Brandon-Evansville (at Brandon), 7 p.m.; Sept. 13-Fergus Falls Hillcrest, 7 p.m.; Sept. 20-at Underwood, 7 p.m.; Sept. 28-at Verndale, 7 p.m.; Oct. 4-Bertha-Hewitt, 7 p.m.; Oct. 11-Ortonville, 7 p.m.; Oct. 16-at Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley (at Graceville), 3:30 p.m.


Coach: Tim Pattrin (second year)

2012 record: 3-6

Players to watch: Cody Lund, Sr., RB/LB; James Huisman, Jr., FS; Brad Challes, Sr., OL/DL; Will Schroeder TE/DE; Tom Bosek, Jr., QB.

Coach’s comments: “We’d like to think we’re competing for the top,” Pattrin told the Alexandria Echo Press. “With our numbers coming back and everything, we think we’ve got a real shot. We’ve got a pretty tough schedule. We think we play in the best conference in the state. I think we can have a great ground-and-pound game. We’ll have a big, bruising defense.”

Schedule: Aug. 30-Fergus Falls Hillcrest, 7 p.m.; Sept. 6-Ashby, 7 p.m.; Sept. 13-at Hancock, 7 p.m.; Sept. 20-Ortonville, 7 p.m.; Sept. 27-at Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley (at Graceville), 3:30 p.m.; Oct. 4-at Wheaton-Herman-Norcoss (at Wheaton), 7 p.m.; Oct. 11-Verndale, 7 p.m.; Oct. 16-at Bertha-Hewitt (at Bertha), 7 p.m.


Coach: Darrin Byklum (17th year)

2012 record: 2-7

Players to watch: Justin Cameron, Sr., FB/LB; Jonah Sylvester, Sr., QB/LB; Noel Anderson, Sr., OL/DL.

Coach’s comments: “We just need to get better day by day and hopefully by playoff time we’re rolling on all cylinders. We lost our whole front line last year except for Anderson, so we’re taking baby steps.”

Schedule: Aug. 29-at Ada-Borup, 7 p.m.; Sept. 6-Badger-Greenbush-Middle River (at Climax), 7 p.m.; Sept. 13-Northern Freeze (at Climax), 7 p.m.; Sept. 20-Clearbrook-Gonvick (at Climax), 7 p.m.; Sept. 27-at Kittson County Central, 3:30 p.m.; Oct. 4-Goodridge-Grygla (at Fisher), 3:30 p.m.; Oct. 10-at Stephen-Argyle (at Stephen), 7 p.m.; Oct. 15-at Sacred Heart, 7 p.m.

Fergus Falls Hillcrest

Coach: Charlie Brue (ninth year)

2012 record: 4-6

Players to watch: Evan Newman, Sr., WR; Jake Isaac, Jr., QB.

Coach’s comments: “We are young. We graduated most of our starters from last year. We have a nice group of underclassmen. Just need to grow a little.”

Schedule: Aug. 30-at Brandon-Evansville (at Brandon), 7 p.m.; Sept. 6-Bertha-Hewitt, 7 p.m.; Sept. 13-at Ashby, 7 p.m.; Sept. 20-Verndale, 7 p.m.; Sept. 27-at Ortonville, 7 p.m.; Oct. 4-Underwood, 7 p.m.; Oct. 11-Hancock, 7 p.m.; Oct. 16-at Wheaton-Herman-Norcross (at Wheaton), 3:30 p.m.

Moorhead Park Christian

Coach: Dan Kowalski (third year)

2012 record: 5-4

Players to watch: Jared Olsgaard, Sr., QB/CB; Hunter Nickel, Sr., DE/TE; Austin Daugherty, Sr., OL/DL; Josh Heinen, Sr., LB/RB; Matt Moberg, Sr., WR/S; Duncan Hannestad, WR/CB; Jake Stenerson, Jr. RB; Ken Griffis, Jr. DT.

Coach’s comments: “We’re down on total numbers, but we have a lot of varsity experience coming back this year. We need to stay healthy in order to compete with a very difficult schedule.”

Schedule: Aug. 29-at Badger-Greenbush-Middle River (at Badger), 7 p.m.; Sept. 6-Win-E-Mac, 5 p.m.; Sept. 14-Warren-Alvarado-Oslo, 2 p.m.; Sept. 20-at Ada-Borup (in Ada), 7 p.m.; Sept. 28-Rothsay (at Fargodome), TBA; Oct. 4-at Waubun, 7 p.m.; Oct. 11-at Norman County West, 7 p.m.; Oct. 17-Norman County East-Ulen-Hitterdal (at Fargodome), TBA.

Norman County East-Ulen-Hitterdal

Coach: Dustin Flaten (fifth year)

2012 record: Norman County East (5-5) and Ulen-Hitterdal (2-7).

Players to watch: Zach Stene, Sr., TE/LB; Allan Gwin, Sr., RB/LB; Patrick Busby, Jr., RB/DB; Jeremiah Stene, Sr., TE/DE; Nick Dahl, Jr., DL; Hunter Thompson, Jr., RB/DB; Marty Hoseth, Sr., FB/DE.

Coach’s comments: “We definitely have a little more depth than we’re used to having. We have a lot of upperclassmen competing for positions right now. We’re expecting to compete for a conference title and a section championship.”

Schedule: Aug. 29-at Sacred Heart, 7 p.m.; Sept. 6-Norman County West, 7 p.m.; Sept 13-Ada-Borup, 7 p.m.; Sept. 20-at Warren-Alvarado-Oslo (at Warren), 7 p.m.; Sept. 28-Waubun (at Fargodome), TBA; Oct. 4-at Rothsay, 3:30 p.m.; Oct. 11-Win-E-Mac, 7 p.m.; Oct. 17-Moorhead Park Christian (at Fargodome), TBA.

Norman County West

Coach: Nate McCraven (second year)

2012 record: 0-8

Players to watch: Tony Larson, Jr., RB/LB; Ryan Olson, Jr., QB/S; Ezra Walz, Jr., OL/DT; Dalton Jorgensen, Jr., OL/DT.

Coach’s comments: “We return a lot of varsity experience, as many of our guys were forced into action as freshmen and sophomores. We are looking to be much more competitive this year with our guys being a year smarter, stronger and faster. Our line returns with good size and we will depend on them to open up running lanes for our backs, who are more explosive this year. Defensively, we will be much improved as we return eight starters from last year.”

Schedule: Aug. 29-Kittson County Central, 7 p.m.; Sept. 6-at Norman County East-Ulen-Hitterdal (at Ulen), 7 p.m.; Sept. 13-Rothsay, 7 p.m.; Sept. 20-at Waubun, 7 p.m.; Sept. 28-Warren-Alvarado-Oslo (at Fargodome), 11:15 a.m.; Oct. 4-Ada-Borup, 7 p.m.; Oct. 11-Moorhead Park Christian, 7 p.m.; Oct. 16-at Win-E-Mac, 7 p.m.


Coach: Andrew Oland (fifth year)

2012 record: 1-8

Players to watch: Noah Brenden, Sr., QB; Brett Brenden, Sr., RB; Taylor Oien, Sr., RB.

Coach’s comments: “There’s some new teams to our conference and that’s going to be interesting. Our conference has gotten a little bit tougher. We will be OK thanks to our three returning seniors. We did lose five seniors, which was basically our entire offensive line and that is going to be hard to rebound from.”

Schedule: Aug. 30-at Goodridge-Grygla (at Grygla), 7 p.m.; Sept. 6-Warren-Alavarado-Oslo, 7 p.m.; Sept. 13-at Norman County West, 7 p.m.; Sept. 20-Win-E-Mac, 7 p.m.; Sept. 28-Moorhead Park Christian (at Fargodome), TBA; Oct. 4-Norman County East-Ulen-Hitterdal, 3:30 p.m.; Oct. 11-at Ada-Borup (at Ada), 7 p.m.; Oct. 16-Waubun, 7 p.m.


Coach: Chuck Ross (16th year)

2012 record: 9-2 (Lost 8-0 to Wheaton-Herman-Norcross in the Class 9-man, Section 4 championship).

Players to watch: A.J. Montgomery, Sr., RB/LB; Max Kollar, Sr., OL/LB; LeRoy Hauge, Sr., TE/DE; Adam Creek, Sr., QB/DB; Aaron Thompson, Sr., WR/DE; Dan Anderson, Jr., OL/DL.

Coach’s comments: “We’re going to have a lot of sophomores that need to mature fast if we’re going to be successful. I think we’ve got the right mixture of seniors and underclassmen, but they need to gain experience. If we can mature fast, we’ll look to be pretty competitive near the end.”

Schedule: Aug. 29-Ortonville, 7 p.m.; Sept. 6-at Verndale, 7 p.m.; Sept. 13-at Wheaton-Herman-Norcross (at Wheaton), 7 p.m.; Sept. 20-Ashby, 7 p.m.; Sept. 27-Bertha-Hewitt, 7 p.m.; Oct. 4-at Fergus Falls Hillcrest, 7 p.m.; Oct. 11-Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley, 7 p.m.; Oct. 16-at Hancock, 7 p.m.


Coach: Michael Mahlen (45th year)

2012 record: 7-3

Players to watch: Dillon Card, Jr., QB/DE; Eric Blaha, Sr., TE/DE; Will Kramer, Sr., TE/DE; James Kvepom, Jr., RB/LB.

Coach’s comments: “We should be a better team than last year. Another team could be better in the conference, you never know. You could be a better team, but your record might not be any better. We’re pretty experienced. We’ve got some juniors and seniors with quite a bit of experience, so we should be a pretty decent team.”

Schedule: Aug. 30-Hancock, 7 p.m.; Sept. 6-Underwood, 7 p.m.; Sept. 13-at Bertha-Hewitt (at Bertha), 7 p.m.; Sept. 20-at Fergus Falls Hillcrest, 7 p.m.; Sept. 28-Ashby, 7 p.m.; Oct. 4-Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley, 7 p.m.; Oct. 11-at Brandon-Evansville (at Brandon), 7 p.m.; Oct. 16-at Ortonville, 7 p.m.


Coach: Paul Clark (third year)

2012 record: 6-3

Players to watch: Kyle Erickson, Sr., FB/DL; Tanner Bellanger, Sr., OL/DL; Bonjer Medina, Sr., OL/DL; Alec Teiken, Sr., RB/LB.

Coach’s comments: “Our strength will be the line on both sides of the ball. We return three-year starters on both sides, so we are looking for them to lead us. Ball control and a grind-it-out style will be the name of the game for us.”

Schedule: Aug. 29-at Clearbrook-Gonvick (at Clearbrook), 7 p.m.; Sept. 6-Ada-Borup, 7 p.m.; Sept. 13-at Win-E-Mac, 7 p.m.; Sept. 20-Norman County West, 7 p.m.; Sept. 28-Norman County East-Ulen-Hitterdal (at Fargodome), TBA; Oct. 4-Moorhead Park Christian, 7 p.m.; Oct. 11-Warren-Alvarado-Oslo, 7 p.m.; Oct. 16-at Rothsay, 7 p.m.



Coach: Tony Thiel (17th year)

2012 record: 9-3 (lost in overtime 6-0 to Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley in the Class 9-man state quarterfinals).

Players to watch: Carter Thiel, Sr., RB/DB; Cameron Maudal, Sr., QB/DB; Braden Krump, Jr., TE/LB; Justin Coffman, Sr., OL/LB; Parker Yost, Jr., OL/DL; Mason Deal, Jr., RB/LB; Justin Lupkes, Sr., OL/DL.

Coach’s comments: “We will rely on team speed and will need to stay healthy to be competitive in the tough Pheasant Conference. I see (Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley) to be the team to beat in the conference, with Verndale and Ashby as the teams to beat in Section 4, 9- man.”

Schedule: Aug. 30-at Ashby, 7 p.m.; Sept. 6-at Ortonville, 7 p.m.; Sept. 13-Underwood, 7 p.m.; Sept. 20-Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley, 7 p.m.; Sept. 27-at Hancock, 7 p.m.; Oct. 4-Brandon-Evansville, 7 p.m.; Oct. 11-at Bertha-Hewitt (at Bertha), 7 p.m.; Oct. 16-Fergus Falls Hillcrest, 3:30 p.m.



Coach: Brian Nelson (19th year)

2012 record: 6-4

Players to watch: Mitchell Mosher, Sr., RB/LB; Alex Schmalenberg, Sr., TE/DB; Charlie Duckstad, Sr., OL/DL; Joey Woods, Jr., OL/LB.

Coach’s comments: “I think we’ll be a competitive team. We’re going to have to develop some depth, especially in the line and all over, quickly. (Seniors) are going to have to be leaders. They played a ton last year and possibly even as sophomores. The seniors are going to have to be great leaders and help us improve the underclassmen to help us fill in some roles.”

Schedule: Aug. 30-Blackduck, 7 p.m.; Sept. 6-Frazee, 7 p.m.; Sept. 13-at Lake Park-Audubon (at Lake Park), 7 p.m.; Sept. 20-Fosston, 7 p.m.; Sept. 27-at Cass Lake-Bena (at Cass Lake), 7 p.m.; Oct. 4-Red Lake, 7 p.m.; Oct. 11-at Red Lake County Central, 7 p.m.; Oct. 16-at Mahnomen, 7 p.m.

Lake Park-Audubon

Coach: Jed Swegarden (13th year)

2012 record: 3-6

Players to watch: Jon Olson, Sr., WR/DB; Mason Swegarden, Sr., QB/DB; Tanner Reiwer, Sr., OL/DL.

Coach’s comments: “We have high expectations. We have to get some spots filled on the offensive line. I got a good group of seniors. We have high goals. Being in the section finals would be a big one. That’s where it starts.”

Schedule: Aug. 30-at Walker-Hackensack-Akeley (at Walker), 7 p.m.; Sept. 6-Pillager, 7 p.m.; Sept. 13-Fertile-Beltrami, 7 p.m.; Sept. 20-at Frazee, 7 p.m.; Sept. 27-Fosston, 7 p.m.; Oct. 4-Red Lake County Central, 7 p.m.; Oct. 11-at Mahnomen, 7 p.m.; Oct. 16-at Red Lake , 7 p.m.


Coach: John Clark Jr. (13th year)

2012 record: 14-0 (Class 8A state champions).

Players to watch: Trevor Haugo, Sr., QB/LB; Bob Bjorge, Sr., RB/LB; Austin Reitan, Sr., RB/LB; Kal Handyside Sr., OL/DL; Kole Lefebvre Sr., WR/DB; Levi Liebl, Jr., OL/DL.

Coach’s comments: “We are excited for the new season. We lost a bunch of great players from last year, but feel we have some younger kids that are ready to play. It might take us some time to click, as we will have to plug players in and will have kids changing positions. We should be athletic across the board. Our defense will be our strength. Hopefully, our offense will find a rhythm as the season progresses. Like most small schools, staying healthy will be key.”

Schedule: Aug. 30-at Pillager, 7 p.m.; Sept. 6-at Red Lake County Central, 7 p.m.; Sept. 13- Frazee, 7 p.m.; Sept. 20-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley, 7 p.m.; Sept. 27-at Red Lake, 7 p.m.; Oct. 4-at Fosston, 7 p.m.; Oct. 11-Lake Park-Audubon, 7 p.m.; Oct. 16-Fertile-Beltrami, 7 p.m.

New York Mills

Coach: Matt Radniecki (20th year)

2012 record: 2-7

Players to watch: Tyler Patron, Sr., FB/LB; Adam Patron, Sr., OL/LB; Taylor Ericksrud, Sr., CB/WR.

Coach’s comments: “We look to be a better football team this year. In our conference we look for Browerville again to be tough along with (Otter Tail Central). In the section, Browerville, the returning champ, would have to be the favorite, but we hope to be in the thick of it at the end.”

Schedule: Aug. 30-United North Central, 7 p.m.; Sept. 6-at Barnesville, 7 p.m.; Sept. 13-Otter Tail Central, 7 p.m.; Sept. 20-at Kerkohoven-Murdock-Sunburg (at Murdock), 7 p.m.; Sept. 27-Browerville, 7 p.m.; Oct. 4-Royalton, 7 p.m.; Oct. 11-at West Central Area, 7 p.m.; Oct. 16-at Wadena-Deer Creek (at Wadena), 7 p.m.

West Central Area

Coach: Dave Drexler (fourth year)

2012 record: 2-7

Players to watch: Dakotah Kashmark, Sr., RB/WR/FS; Brady Kombs, Sr., TE/LB; Jared Oachs, Sr., OL/DL; Tanner Wagner, Jr., RB/LB.

Coach’s comments: “We’ve got a tough conference. (Otter Tail Central) is probably going to be the favorite in the conference. We need to stay healthy this year. Last year we had a lot of injuries that hurt us a lot. We are very young this year, so we need a lot of younger players to step up and play big roles for us.”

Schedule: Aug. 30-Wadena-Deer Creek, 7 p.m.; Sept. 6-Osakis, 7 p.m.; Sept. 13-at Browerville, 7 p.m.; Sept. 20-Royalton, 6 p.m.; Sept. 27-at Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg (at Murdock), 7 p.m.; Oct. 4-at Otter Tail Central, 7 p.m.; Oct. 11-New York Mills, 7 p.m.; Oct. 17-Barnesville (at Fargodome), 7 p.m.



Coach: Bryan Strand (ninth year)

2012 record: 10-1 (lost 38-34 to Hawley in Class 2A, Section 8 championship).

Players to watch: Michael Strand, Sr. RB/SS; Kyler Martz, SR., QB/FS; Jonah Kletsch, Sr., OL/DL; Ben Randklev, Jr., OL/LB; Ethan Ishaug, So. TE/LB.

Coach’s comments: “Return a good nucleus from last year’s section runner-up team and should be very competitive in conference and section. We need to fill in a few holes left by a very talented group of seniors from last year’s team. We have good skilled position players and a quality line. As long as we stay healthy, we should be in every game. It should be a fun year.”

Schedule: Aug. 30-at Otter Tail Center, 7 p.m.; Sept. 6-New York Mills, 7 p.m.; Sept. 13-at Long Prairie-Grey Eagle, 7 p.m.; Sept. 20-United North Central, 7 p.m.; Sept. 27-at Osakis, 7 p.m.; Oct. 4-Upsala-Swanville, 7 p.m.; Oct. 11-at Wadena-Deer Creek (at Wadena), 7 p.m.; Oct. 17-West Central Area (at Fargodome), 7 p.m.


Coach: Chad Fredericksen (sixth year)

2012 record: 2-7

Players to watch: Parker Busse, Sr., RB/LB; Jordan Christensen, Sr., OL/DL; Nathan Blausfuss, Jr., QB/LB.

Coach’s comments: “We are going to be pretty senior heavy and all of those guys have gotten playing time. Last year we were really young and a lot of those guys got a lot of experience and we are looking for that experience to pay off. We have 16 seniors and they’ve worked hard in the offseason and we hope that carries over.”

Schedule: Aug. 30-Wahpeton, 7 p.m.; Sept. 6-Staples-Motley, 7 p.m.; Sept. 13-at Roseau, 6 p.m.; Sept. 20-Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton, 7 p.m.; Sept. 27-at Crookston, 7 p.m.; Oct. 4-at Hawley, 7 p.m.; Oct. 11-Warroad, 6 p.m.; Oct. 17-Pelican Rapids, 5:45 p.m.


Coach: Jim Rader (seventh year)

2012 record: 8-2

Players to watch: Cory Wokasch, Sr., DE/TE; Garrett Malstrom, Jr., OL/LB; Roger Thorp, Jr., T.

Coach’s comments: “Excited about the team, particularly the size and strength of our kids. We lost some quality players to graduation, but have some top-notch underclassmen who vested time in the offseason. We have some big kids that attended camps at numerous (Division I) colleges, and performed at a high level. We are flat out excited to see what they do this fall.”

Schedule: Aug. 30-Bagley, 7 p.m.; Sept. 6-at Fertile-Beltrami (at Fertile), 7 p.m.; Sept. 13-at Mahnomen, 7 p.m.; Sept. 20-Lake Park-Audubon, 7 p.m.; Sept. 27-Red Lake County Central, 7 p.m.; Oct. 4-at Pine River-Backus, 7 p.m.; Oct. 11-Red Lake, 7 p.m.; Oct. 17-Fosston, TBA.


Coach: Peder Naatz

2012 record: 11-1 (lost 35-22 to Moose Lake-Willow River in Class 2A state quarterfinals)

Players to watch: Chris Buttke, Sr., FB; Jordan Harms, Jr., QB; Ben Ellefson, Jr. TE/QB/LB; Aaron Regnier, Jr., LB/TE; Logan Alm, Jr., OL/DE.

Coach’s comments: “We have a lot of work to do to get our (offensive line) and (defensive line) back to the level of 2012. We lack experience there at this time, but hope to get the gaps filled with fresh faces. Our skill positions are still mostly underclassmen, but have plenty of experience.”

Schedule: Aug. 30-Park Rapids, 7 p.m.; Sept. 6-Warroad, 7 p.m.; Sept. 13-at Pelican Rapids, 7 p.m.; Sept. 20-Roseau, 7 p.m.; Sept. 27-at Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton, 7 p.m.; Oct. 4-Breckenridge, 7 p.m.; Oct. 11-at Pequot Lakes, 7 p.m.; Oct. 16-at Staples-Motley (at Staples), 7 p.m.

Otter Tail Central

Coach: Don Seipkes (41st year)

2012 record: 7-3

Players to watch: Dan Marso, Sr., TE/OLB; Andrew Smith, Sr., QB/FS; Jake Trosdahl, Sr., RB/OLB; Tyler Ukkelberg, Sr., TE/DE.

Coach’s comments: “Strength has to be our overall returning starters and the experience that they bring. With our quarterback returning and our top rusher and our top receiver returning, we need to keep them healthy and have our line come together and open holes for them. We were able to score a lot of points last season and hope to do the same again this year. Defensively, we need to tighten things up a bit and keep the opponents from scoring as much as they did last year. We have high hopes for the upcoming season and need to stay away from injuries.”

Schedule: Aug. 29-Barnesville, 7 p.m.; Sept. 6-at Wadena-Deer Creek, 7 p.m.; Sept. 13-at New York Mills, 7 p.m.; Sept. 20-Browerville, 7 p.m.; Sept. 27-at Royalton, 7 p.m.; Oct. 4-West Central Area, 7 p.m.; Oct. 11-Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg, 7 p.m.; Oct. 17-United North Central, 7 p.m.

Pelican Rapids

Coach: Dave Haugen (17th year)

2012 record: 7-3

Players to watch: Ryan Bruggeman, Sr., RB/DB; Eddie Ramos, Sr., OL/DL; Nathan Sillerud, Sr, WR/OLB; Travis Haugen, Sr., WR/OLB;

Coach’s comments: “I feel that we can put together a very good football team. We will have several first-time starters, so how quickly they adjust to varsity football will determine to a large extent how successful our regular season is. If we can be healthy going into the playoffs, we feel that we can be one of the top teams in our section.”

Schedule: Aug. 30-at Perham, 7 p.m.; Sept. 6-Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton, 7 p.m.; Sept. 13-Hawley, 7 p.m.; Sept. 20-at Warroad, 7 p.m.; Sept. 27-at Staples-Motley (at Staples), 7 p.m.; Oct. 4-East Grand Forks, 7 p.m.; Oct. 11-at Roseau, 7 p.m.; Oct. 17-Breckenridge, 5:45 p.m.

Wadena-Deer Creek

Coach: Howie Kangas (second year)

2012 record: 2-7

Players to watch: Nick Carlson, Sr., QB; Wyatt Weber, Sr., OL/LB.

Coach’s comments: “The biggest thing we wanted to do in my second year was improve the numbers. We got our numbers up to 27 or 28 kids, and that’s a big improvement for us. We have to get a foundation in order to get anything cooking in the right direction.”

Schedule: Aug. 30-at West Central Area, 7 p.m.; Sept. 6-Otter Tail Central, 7 p.m.; Sept. 13-at United North Central, 7 p.m.; Sept. 20-at Osakis, 7 p.m.; Sept. 27-Upsala-Swanville, 7 p.m.; Oct. 4-at Long Prairie-Grey Eagle, 7 p.m.; Oct. 11-Barnesville, 7 p.m.; Oct. 16-New York Mills, 7 p.m.



Coach: Tony Soderberg (sixth year)

2012 record: 2-7

Players to watch: Chad Johnson, Sr., RB/LB; Zack Nelson, Sr., QB; Wyatt Bolin, Sr., OL/DL; Brandon Wayne, Jr., RB/LB; Ben Martin, Sr., RB/DL.

Coach’s comments: “We got a lot of good players coming back. We had a pretty small senior class last year. It’s hard to compete with sophomores against seniors. All those sophomores are now juniors and those juniors are now seniors. We’re about three weeks ahead of where we were last year.”

Schedule: Aug. 30-at East Grand Forks, 7 p.m.; Sept. 6-at Pelican Rapids, 7 p.m.; Sept. 13-Perham, 7 p.m.; Sept. 20-at Breckenridge, 7 p.m.; Sept. 27-Hawley, 7 p.m.; Oct. 4-at Warroad, 7 p.m.; Oct. 11-Staples-Motley, 7 p.m.; Oct. 17-Roseau, 3:30 p.m.

Park Rapids

Coach: Aaron Morris (fifth year)

2012 record: 5-6 (lost 51-26 to Perham in the Class 3A, Section 8 championship).

Players to watch: Noah MacPherson, Sr., ILB/WR; Rilee Johnson, Sr., ILB/FB; Tyler McCollum, Sr., QB/S; Kurt Fritze, Sr., OL/DT; Ben Baumgartner, Jr., OLB/RB; Derek Porozinski, Jr., DE/WR; Josh Severtson, Sr., CB;RB.

Coach’s comments: “We are not very big, but we have great team speed. We like to run and pass the ball. We have some great players and we are looking forward to utilizing our speed in different aspects of the game.”

Schedule: Aug. 30-at Hawley, 7 p.m.; Sept. 6-Roseau, 7 p.m.; Sept. 13-at Crookston, 7 p.m.; Sept. 20-Pequot Lakes, 7 p.m.; Sept. 27-at Thief River Falls, 6 p.m.; Oct. 4-Detroit Lakes, 7 p.m.; Oct. 11-at East Grand Forks, 7 p.m.; Oct. 16-Perham, 7 p.m.


Coach: Mike Jordahl (fourth year)

2012 record: 10-2 (lost 31-21 to Blue Earth in Class 3A state semifinals).

Players to watch: Payton Jordahl, Sr., FB/LB; Dan Ingebrand, Sr., OL/LB.

Coach’s comments: “The key will be to stay mentally and physically focused on how we can get better every down. We will need to get some depth on our offensive line and keep our skilled players healthy. Our experience should be a strong point for us. We believe we have the ability to be section champs this year. Our guys have high expectations for this year.”

Schedule: Aug. 30-Pelican Rapids, 7 p.m.; Sept. 6-East Grand Forks, 7 p.m.; Sept. 13-at Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton, 7 p.m.; Sept. 20-Crookston, 7 p.m.; Sept. 27-at Pequot Lakes, 7 p.m.; Oct. 4-Thief River Falls, 7 p.m.; Oct. 11-at Detroit Lakes, 7 p.m.; Oct. 16-at Park Rapids, 7 p.m.


Detroit Lakes

Coach: Flint Motschenbacher (16th year)

2012 record: 10-1 (lost 34-31 in four overtimes to Princeton in Class 4A state quarterfinals).

Players to watch: Michael Herzog, Sr., QB/S; Jarret Nosal, Sr., FB; Casey Paskey, Sr., WR/DB; Kirby Siewert, Sr., OL/DL; Dylan Bremseth, Sr., LB; Brandon Dahring, Sr., LB; Sam Champa, Jr., DB.

Coach’s comments: “Will be inexperienced in some key positions and need to develop some depth.”

Schedule: Aug. 30-at Fargo North, 7 p.m.; Sept. 6-Crookston, 7 p.m.; Sept. 13-Thief River Falls, 7 p.m.; Sept. 20-Staples-Motley, 7 p.m.; Sept. 27-at East Grand Forks, 7 p.m.;

Oct. 4-at Park Rapids, 7 p.m.; Oct. 11-Perham, 7 p.m.; Oct. 16-at Pequot Lakes, 7 p.m.

Fergus Falls

Coach: Steve Olson (first year)

2012 record: 6-4

Players to watch: Al Suek, Sr., TE/DE; Austin Rund, Sr., QB/DB; Dane Ringquist, Sr., RB/DB; Simon Kasper, Sr., OL/DL; Taylor Tenner, Sr., OL/DL; Noah Strom, Jr., QB/DB.

Coach’s comments: “We are not returning many starters, but do have quite a few kids who played different roles for us last year. We will have an entirely new look offensively this year. I feel we have a good quarterback competition going between Austin Rund and Noah Strom. Our schedule will be extremely difficult, but we like the effort our kids put into the weight room this offseason and feel confident we will improve each week.”

Schedule: Aug. 30-Brainerd, 7 p.m.; Sept. 6-at Rocori, 7 p.m.; Sept. 13-Bemidji, 7 p.m.;

Sept. 20-Sauk Rapids-Rice, 7 p.m.; Sept. 27-at St. Cloud Apollo, 7 p.m.; Oct. 4-Moorhead,



Coach: Kevin Feeney (fourth year)

2012 record: 10-1 (lost 35-14 to Bemidji in the Class 5A state quarterfinals).

Players to watch: Brett Lawrence, Sr., WR; Ryan Schock, Sr., OLB; Jade Lawrence, Jr., RB/SS; Tyler Eidsness, Sr., QB/FS; Joey Eggert, Sr., LB.

Coach’s comments: “Return good experience at (linebacker), excellent speed in the secondary, need to develop depth at the defensive line. Offensively, have to replace four out of five spots on the offensive line along with a (tight end). Wide receiver will be a positive, along with the running back position. Kicking game and special teams will be very solid. We lost 31 seniors to graduation, so gaining experience is going to be key in the beginning of the season with section and conference opponents Alexandria and St. Cloud Apollo out of the chute.”

Schedule: Aug. 30-Alexandria, 7 p.m.; Sept. 6-at St. Cloud Apollo, 7 p.m.; Sept. 13-Grand Rapids, 7 p.m.; Sept. 20-St. Cloud Tech, 7 p.m.; Sept. 27-at Sauk Rapids-Rice (at Sauk Rapids), 7 p.m.; Oct. 4-at Fergus Falls, 7 p.m.; Oct. 11-Brainerd, 7 p.m.; Oct. 16-at Bemidji, 7 p.m.