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Chris Murphy, Published August 26 2013

Moorhead Park Christian football preview

It was all new two falls ago for Moorhead Park Christian after the Falcons split from their football co-op with Fargo Oak Grove to form their own Minnesota 9-man program.

After a 2-7 year in its inaugural season in 2011-12, the Falcons went 5-4 in 2012-13. It wasn’t the best start to the season for the Falcons in 2012, as they went 2-3 to start the year, but rattled off three-straight wins before losing a heartbreaker 14-12 in the Falcons’ first home playoff game to a Norman County East-Ulen-Hitterdal team they had defeated 30-6 just 11 days earlier.

“It was huge,” Park Christian coach Dan Kowalski said of going from 2-7 to 5-4. “It’s obviously fun to win. Putting up five ‘W’s and starting to see your program take shape, while trying to get kids in the weight room and implementing a new offense has been gratifying to see that work on the field. Our defense has gotten a lot better since our first year. Not getting beat by 40 points also helped.”

Outside of a 47-7 loss to Goodridge-Grygla in the first game of the season, the Park Christian losses were by 15, 11 and two the rest of the way.

Outlook

Park Christian got the cobwebs out in 2011-12, finished above .500 in 2012-13 and the next step for the young program is to win in the playoffs.

“Obviously, we would like to improve on that 5-4 record,” Kowalski said. “We have a tough bout ahead of us. My goal would be to get to 6-2 and win the first round of the playoffs.”

Park Christian has a big hole to fill with Simeon Reiswig graduating. Reiswig was a dual-threat quarterback, who also returned kicks and played defense for the Falcons. He threw for 1,688 yards and 18 touchdowns and rushed for 468 yards and nine touchdowns.

Replacing him will be senior Jared Olsgaard, who already has playoff experience at quarterback. Olsgaard came in for Reiswig in the team’s playoff game last season after he left with an injury. Olsgaard completed 18 of his 31 passes for 258 yards and two touchdowns, along with one interception.

According to Kowalski, Olsgaard and senior wide receiver Matt Moberg have developed into a dependable duo.

“Moberg is definitely his big weapon at wide receiver,” Kowalski said.

The schedule is not too kind to Park Christian. The Falcons will play just three teams with records below. 500 last season.

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