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Tom Mix, Published August 29 2013

Fargo North football preview

Fargo North opened the 2012 season 0-3 before picking up its first win of the season in Week 4 against Devils Lake.

The road victory against the Firebirds was followed by a 20-0 victory against Grand Forks Central. North was unable to get its record to .500 the next week, suffering a 14-7 setback to Fargo Davies.

Several injuries took a toll on the Spartans throughout the year.

“I thought our guys played hard,” North head coach Kelly Kalina said. “We were stung by the injury bug, which obviously affects you and we weren’t as deep as we would have liked to have been at some positions.”

Sophomore quarterback Mike Boutain led the Spartans in rushing with 628 yards and four touchdowns. Boutain split time at quarterback with junior Avery Thompson. Thompson passed for 666 yards and five touchdowns.

Hunter Slemmons and Olaf Hanson earned

all-state second-team honors.

outlook

The calendar has flipped to 2013 and the Spartans are hopeful the new season brings sustained success.

North opens the year with a game against defending Minnesota Class 4A, Section 8 champions Detroit Lakes at 7 p.m. today.

Kalina said the game against the Lakers may prove difficult given Detroit Lakes will enter Fargo having had 10 or more preseason practices than the Spartans.

Boutain and Thompson both return under center for the Spartans. The pair may rotate at that position again this fall.

“It might be where they both play and it might be where one wins the job and the other plays at another position,” Kalina said. “We are happy with what both of them have done so far in practice.”

After Detroit Lakes, the Spartans square off against Fargo Shanley, West Fargo and Fargo South in consecutive weeks. The Deacons are coming off a Class 2A championship season and the Bruins and Packers both played in the 3A semifinals.

“There are a lot of teams that are doing well right now,” Kalina said. “There is going to be a tough game for every team every week. Every game is going to be a challenge.”

The Spartans will rely on their depth early on.

“A lot of the guys that played in the backfield last year are returning,” Kalina said. “We have an all-state offensive lineman back (Hanson) on the line and an all-state linebacker back on defense (Slemmons). It helps to have that experience coming back.”