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Season Previews Austin Austin Bruins Grand Meadow Hayfield LeRoy-Ostrander Southland Lyle-Pacelli Blooming Prairie

Pages 3-6 Page 8 Pages 9-10 Pages 11-12 Pages 13-14 Pages 15-17 Pages 19-20 Pages 21-23

The four-edition publication that looks at the sports scene in Austin and the surrounding area.

Fall edition published: Aug. 30, 2013 Content by Rocky Hulne and contributors/ Photos and graphics Austin Daily Herald

On the Side Tournament rundown

Page 7

Five To Watch

Page 7

Five Questions with Landon Jacobson

Page 9

A rundown of dates, times and locations of falls state tournaments. Five storylines that will stand out in the area sports scene this fall.

Grand Meadow standout looks back to last year and forward to 2013 in five questions posed by JumpStart.

Off the Field

Page 10

Get to know three area athletes.

Three Questions

Page 11

Gopher Football and Volleyball schedules Kris Dutton

Page 12 Page 14

Jen Haugen

Page 14

Riverland Volleyball/Soccer schedules

Page 18

Three things facing Southland and Hayfield as they join a new conference.

Austin's Roel Torres celebrates his goal just five minutes in against Rochester Mayo Thursday night at Art Hass Stadium.



How to recognize and treat muscle soreness. Milk — the new sports drink.


Faster and stronger

It’s Open Season

Intense offseason could boost a Packers team on the move to a better record

There were no positions simply given to returners. This season they fought for them


f it were any other season, Austin football players Gabe Gerstner, Tony Baudler and Kole Igou would’ve walked into the first day of practice knowing they would be starting on the defensive side of the ball. All three players had proved their worth as starters last year, and all saw varsity playing time as sophomores. But not this year. The Packers came up with a new motivational technique this season where starters received black jerseys, players competing for starting spots were given blue jerseys ,and everyone else had regular practice jerseys. Gerstner was the only player to get a black jersey on day one, but he knows that doesn’t mean he’s guaranteed to start all year. “If there’s a theme for this year, it would be competing. That competing mentality in practice is going to carry into games,” Gerstner, who is a senior linebacker, said. “I’ve got freshmen and sophomores fighting to beat me out every practice. I’ve got to keep watch just like everyone else does.” Igou, who is a junior, said the system prevents players from walking into starting spots even if they haven’t put in the necessary work. The Packers put in a lot of time this past offseason in the weight room and on the football field. Every spot will be earned, especially on defense where Austin head coach Brett Vesel said the competition was high. “There is no favoritism,” Igou, who plays linebacker, said. “You play for your spot every day and it makes practice more fun. There are no slackers in practice. Everybody is fighting for a position.” Gerstner and Baudler, who is a senior, are hoping the system boosts the Packers’ win total. When they were freshman, Gerstner and Baudler were on a team that won the Big Nine, AUSTIN DAILY HERALD - FALL JUMPSTART

“I’ve got freshmen and sophmores fighting to beat me out every practice.”

-Gabe Gerstner

but the varsity program has racked up just two wins in the past three years, and one of those victories came on a forfeit. Gerstner has been looking forward to this year for a long time. “I’m going to leave it out on the field,” he said. “I’ve been looking up to this year since I was a freshman. Now is our time to play and leave a legacy with our grade.” Baudler, who recalls looking up to the varsity football team when he was a little kid, would like to see the team tally some wins as well. But he knows they have to earn it. “We can’t talk big now. We’ve got to prove it,” Baudler said. “We’re getting better and better every day and practice is a constant battle. Every day (Vesel) critiques you and you could lose your starting spot in one practice.” Last season the defense struggled with communication and getting on the same page. It was the first year under Vesel, so things were moving fast. This season the team has a better grasp on the system, and Gerstner is expecting to see some serious improvements. “We’re really working on alignment and communicating,” he said. “It’s a team effort, and one guy can screw up a whole play.” Igou said a lot of the necessary changes have already taken place. Besides players watching more film, the team is much more ready for a football season than it was last year. After a strong summer of weightlifting and practicing, much of the roster is bigger and stronger. “We’re 100 steps ahead (from last year),” Igou said. “We’ve had a lot of guys get a lot faster and a lot stronger. Our numbers (in the weight room) have gotten way better.”

The Packer football team is coming out bigger and faster this season. Whether that helps them improve on last year’s mark of 2-7, fans will have to wait and see. After an intense offseason that saw his players hit the weight room and the practice field, Austin head football coach Brett Vesel is feeling pretty good about the roster he has in place for the 2013 season. “I think we match up well with most teams,” Vesel said. “Our issue will be depth. We just don’t have the numbers. But our guys are pretty good compared to their guys. If we have injuries, we’ll feel that pretty hard.” The team saw plenty of position battles in early practices, and every spot had to be earned, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Having faster players will make life easier on both sides of the ball, but having bigger players will especially give the offense a boost. Austin quarterback Ryan Synoground took his fair share of hits last season, but he’s feeling much more confident in his line this season.

See PACKERS, Page 4

SCHEDULE/Home games in bold Aug. 30 Sept. 6 Sept. 13 Sept. 20 Sept. 27 Oct. 4 Oct. 11 Oct. 16

at Faribault, 7 p.m. vs. Mankato West, 7 p.m. at Rochester John Marshall, 7 p.m. at Winona, 7 p.m. vs. Owatonna, 7 p.m. HOMECOMING vs. Rochester Mayo, 7 p.m. at Albert Lea, 7 p.m. vs. Mankato East, 7 p.m. FRIDAY, AUGUST 30, 2013


Quarterback Ryan Synoground, carrying in the Red and White Scrimmage, said that the difference in this year’s team is easily seen.

Packers: Team is committed Continued from Page 3 He thinks the whole team is in a much better position than it was a year ago. “You can feel it. In the offseason we put in a lot of time,” Synoground said. “Everybody wants it, and everybody wants Austin to get back to the winning program it was.” Vesel thinks his offense will be much more balanced than last season, when the running game was almost invisible on some nights. “The offensive line has played a lot better so far,” he said. “I think we’ll be able to run the ball a lot more consistent than last year.” One of the biggest things the Packers have going for them is familiarity. After a full offseason under Vesel, the team has full knowledge of the system and what Vesel demands from his players. Now the coaches can focus on fine tuning instead of overhauling.



“We’re teaching them what they’re supposed to be doing,” Vesel said. “It was tough for them last year, and this year they’re picking it up faster.” Having won just twice in the last three years, the Packers are hoping to be a little more competitive this season. Vesel sees that as a definite possibility. “Regardless of whether or not we win, we’re going to put out a better product, that’s for sure,” he said. “They’ve worked hard.”


In a lot of ways the Austin Packers volleyball team is returning to basics, and that includes conditioning. First-year coach Cindy Owen wants to get the team on a level where it can react quickly.

Packers building from the ground up T here is a major youth movement taking place with the Packer volleyball team as Austin turns to first-year head coach Cindy Owen. Of the 50 players out for volleyball, just three of them are seniors. Six are juniors. Austin, which finished 2-21 overall last season, has just a handful of players with varsity experience in sophomore Shayley Vesel, juniors Kylah Miller and Mer Gach and senior Rachel Wahlert. “We have a young team, so we’re going to have to improve as a team together,” Austin senior Kristine Snyder said. “We haven’t played together a lot. There’s a lot of freshmen, and we’ve got to be role models for them.” Owen said the players have a strong will to turn around a program that has struggled over the last few years. She said the numbers help, and she hopes a lot of her young players can develop throughout the season. “The girls have been showing a lot of work in the offseason,” Owen said. “They want to change, and they want to win. Along with that comes a lot of hard work, you don’t just wish to win. You have to work hard.” Senior Erin Dankert, who also played softball under Owen, likes the positive attitude her coach brings and hopes the program has a solid season. “We’re looking to improve and get some wins,” Dankert said. AUSTIN DAILY HERALD - FALL JUMPSTART

SCHEDULE/Home matches in bold Aug. 22 Aug. 23 Aug. 29 Aug. 31 Sept. 3 Sept. 5 Sept. 7 Sept. 12 Sept. 17 Sept. 19 Sept. 26 Sept. 28 Oct. 1 Oct. 3 Oct. 8 Oct. 10 Oct. 15

Farmington 3, Austin 0 (12-25, 9-25, 13-25) Albert Lea 3, Austin 1 (25-23, 16-25, 16-25, 10-25) vs. Hayfield 7:15 p.m. at Rochester Century Invite 8 a.m. at Blooming Prairie 7:15 p.m. at Mankato West 7:15 p.m. at Mankato West Tournament, 9 a.m. vs. Rochester Century 7:15 p.m. vs. Faribault 7:15 p.m. at Mankato East 7:15 p.m. vs. Winona 7:15 p.m. at Rochester Century Tournament 8 a.m. vs. Southland 7:15 p.m. at Rochester Mayo 7:15 p.m. at Owatonna 7:15 p.m. vs. Faribault 7:15 p.m. at Rochester John Marshall 7:15 p.m.

Since Owen and most of the assistant coaches are new, practices have served as open tryouts. Every athlete has been given a chance to earn a spot. “It’s all new people looking at all new girls. What a clean slate to start out with,” Owen said. “A lot of girls will be stepping into new roles, and they take those roles very serious-

Austin’s Shayley Vesel receives a serve against Mankato East last year. Vesel is just one of a small group of upper classmen returning this season. ly. Everybody is vying for a position right now.” While the team is focused on this year, the older players must be mindful of the next generation of Austin volleyball. “It’s fun to have someone looking up to you, because it forces you to work harder,” Wahlert said. FRIDAY, AUGUST 30, 2013



Munger is one of the Despite a big turnover CHEDULE Home games in bold Packers’ returnees along in its roster, the Packers Como Park 3, Austin 1 with Roel Torres, Riley are looking forward to an- Aug. 24 vs. Waseca 7 p.m. Grinstead, Carlos Verra, other solid boys soccer Aug. 29 Sept. 5 at Albert Lea 7 p.m. Franco Ortiz, Levi season this year. Sept. 7 at Kasson-Mantorville noon Austin returns seven Sept. 10 vs. Mankato West 7 p.m. Veirkandt, Noah Brehmer players from last year’s Sept. 12 at Rochester Century 7 p.m. and Sean Baker. Austin head coach Jens team that went 16-4 Sept. 14 at Pine Island 1 p.m. vs Mankato East 7 p.m. Levisen said some of last overall, took second in the Sept. 17 at Winona 7 p.m. year’s JV players are ready Big Nine and played in Sept. 19 vs. Rochester Lourdes 10 a.m. to take the next step on the Section 1A title game Sept. 21 Sept. 24 vs. Rochester Mayo 7 p.m. the varsity level, and the last season, but it graduSept. 26 vs. Owatonna 7 p.m. goal is still to finish near ated four of its top five Oct. 1 at Faribault 5 p.m. scorers and its keeper. Oct. 3 vs. Rochester JM 7 p.m. the top of the Big Nine. “We’ve had guys in There’s still no need Oct. 5 at Byron 2 p.m. the past who didn’t to panic as the Packers feel there’s plenty of talent on this year’s team play until they were seniors, and they were AllConference honorable mention. I’m not conto go around. “Every year the team before says you’re cerned with having new faces,” Levisen said. never going to be as good as us, but we’ve im- “There’s spots to be earned. It’ll be exciting proved every year,” senior defenseman Clark to see who steps up and gets those spots.” Ortiz said the team is already getting in solMunger said. “I think we’ve set a good tradiid shape to prepare for the season. tion, and we’ve set the bar high.”



Growth Spurt The Austin girls soccer team had its best season in five years last year, and it’s hoping it’ll be even better this season. The Packers went 7-9-1 last year, and they have 50 players out this fall, which is their highest roster count in years. Head coach Enrique Camarena-Corzo, who is in his third year at the helm, said this team has the potential to do some big things. “Every year our goal is to go to state and win it,” he said. “We are working hard to get over there. Unfortunately, other teams probably have that goal too. Hopefully this year we can win our section.” Austin senior Hannah Voogd is one of the longest-tenured veterans on the team, and she said the squad has an influx of young talent that could lift the program to new heights this fall. “I’ve been here for quite some time, and I’ve gone through four coaches in this program,” Voogd said. “It’s really come a long way since we were sixth- and seventh-graders. I’m really excited for this year. We’ve improved so much, and we’re going to improve more.” Voogd will be one of the Packers’ leaders this season, along with Madeline Anderson, Sela Fadness and Tori Grev. Fadness, a senior who started playing soccer as a sophomore, said there is no doubt the team is hoping to be stronger this season. “I think we can compete with any team. It’s just the day



Riley Grinstead is one of seven players returning from last year’s 16-4 Packers boys soccer team that took second in the Big Nine and played in the Section 1A title game. “With more conditioning, I think we’ll be more of a physical team this year,” he said. “We have a good feeling this year.” Roel Torres is Austin’s top returning scorer, but he’s not feeling all of the pressure on his own. He said the team has plenty of players who are capable of putting the ball into the net. “We just need to practice more, and hopefully we do good this season,” Torres said. “We see some talent out here. There’s a lot of young kids with talent.” Levisen said he’d prefer to have a balanced

attack, and that’s what he expects. “We’ve got a number of guys that are able to score some goals,” he said. “It’s going to be exciting to see what they’re able to do. If one guy scores, the whole team scores. That’s what we want.” Grinstead said the team doesn’t need to find any motivation, because keeping the program to where it is enough to get the squad pumped up. “The team has been good in the past, and we have to own up to it and keep the trend going,” he said.

Packers girls soccer continues growth, raises expectations SCHEDULE/Home games in bold Aug. 22 Aug. 24 Sept. 5 Sept. 7 Sept. 10 Sept. 12 Sept. 14 Sept. 17 Sept. 19 Sept. 24 Sept. 26 Oct. 1 Oct. 3 Oct. 5

“We’ve improved so much, and we’re going to improve more.” -Hannah Voogd and the time and what we decide to bring forth,” she said. “We’re hoping to improve on what we did last year. In the last three years, we’ve gotten better and improved every year.” Camarena-Corzo said he’s giving his young players a chance

Fairmont 2, Austin 0 Austin 4, Worthington 0 vs. Albert Lea at Worthington at Mankato West vs. Rochester Century at Mankato Loyola at Mankato East vs. Winona at Rochester Mayo at Owatonna vs. Faribault at Rochester John Marshall at Kasson-Mantorville

7 p.m. 1 p.m. 5 p.m. 7 p.m. 1 p.m. 5 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m.

to play right away if they can prove they have the skill and hardworking attitude. He likes the work ethic that his squad has given him in practice. “One thing’s for sure, this team will work one hundred and ten percent every single game,” Camarena-Corzo said. “When people come to watch us, they will see the girls put everything they have on the field.” AUSTIN DAILY HERALD - FALL JUMPSTART


A look at five local ive storylines playing out through the 2013 season to watch

Austin girls mixing it up The Austin girls swimming and diving team has a strong mix of experience and youth as it prepares for the upcoming season. The Packers bring back diver Autumn Laury, who took third in Class ‘A’ state meet last season and swimmers Maddie Kinney, Mikayla CHEDULE Home meets in bold Finney, Merideth Lakeville South 90, Austin 88 Fritz, Heather Aug. 23 Lakeville North 94, Austin 81 Johnson and AuAug. 27 Albert Lea 97, Austin 80 tumn Laury, who Agu. 29 at Northfield 6 p.m. all have state Sept. 5 at Mankato West 6 p.m. meet experience. Sept. 7 at South Invite Austin graduat the U of M Aquatic Center, TBA vs. Rochester Century 6 p.m. ated longtime Sept. 12 at Lakeville South Invite TBA standout Helen Sept. 14 at Mankato East 6 p.m. Heimark, who Sept. 17 vs. Winona at Austin 6 p.m. took seventh in Sept. 24 at Rochester Mayo 6 p.m. Oct. 1 the 100-yard Oct. 3 at Owatonna 5 p.m. freestyle at state Oct. 5 Austin Invite 10 a.m. last year, but Oct. 10 vs. Faribault 6 p.m. head coach Lynn Oct. 15 at Rochester John Marshall 6 p.m. at Big Nine Meet Gulbrandson said Oct. 25 in Rochester John Marshall 5 p.m. the program has at Big Nine Meet plenty of talent Oct. 26 in Rochester John Marshall, 1 p.m. coming back. “It’s always tough to lose seniors, but they’re supposed to move on. We’ve got a strong junior and senior class to lead us,” he said. “It’ll be an interesting year. We have a great group of seventh, eighth and ninth graders that’ll have to step up and see where they fit in. They swam a lot of 50s and 100s last year and those days


Blossoms bring skill


Maddie Kinney kicks off the 200 medley relay in the back stroke Thursday night in a dual meet last season. are gone. It’s time to move into real events.” Laury, who is a senior, is coming off a breakthrough season when she took third in diving in her first state appearance. “I’m pretty excited for this year. I just hope I can go out there, do better than I did last year and possibly win a state title,” she said.

Where are you going to be for the big games? Below is a list of sites and times for the fall Minnesota State Tournaments. 9-man — Various sites Nov. 8, 9, 14, 15. Championship: Metrodome, Nov. 29, 10 a.m. Class A — Various Sites: Nov. 8, 9, 16. Championship: Metrodome, Nov. 30, 10 a.m. Class AA — Various Sites: Nov. 8, 9, 14, 15. Championship: Metrodome, Nov. 29, 1 p.m. Class AAA — Various Sites: Nov. 8, 9, 16. Championship: Metrodome, Nov. 30, 1 p.m. Class AAAA — Various Sites: Nov. 7, 8, 9, 14, 15. Championship: Metrodome, Nov. 29, 4 p.m. Class AAAAA — Various Sites: Nov. 7, 8, 9, 15, 16. Championship: Metrodome, Nov. 30, 4 p.m. Class AAAAAA — Various Sites: Nov. 7, 8, 14, 15. Championship: Metrodome, AUSTIN DAILY HERALD - FALL SPORTS PREVIEW


The Austin football team is in its second year under head coach Brett Vesel and the team made some strides in the offseason. Thanks to an offseason conditioning program, the Packers have more speed and size than they had last season, and the team is now familiar with Vesel’s system. Those factors should give the Packers a chance to be more competitive than last season, when the team went 27 overall.



Packers hope to break through

Nov. 29, 7 p.m.

Volleyball Xcel Energy Center, all classes, Nov. 7-9

Boys Soccer Various sites and Metrodome, Oct. 23-31 Class A Championship: Metrodome, Oct. 31, 12:30 p.m. Class AA Championship: Metrodome, Oct. 31, 5:30 p.m.

Girls Soccer Various sites and Metrodome, Oct. 2331 Class A Championship: Metrodome, Oct. 31, 10 a.m. Class AA Championship: Metrodome, Oct. 31, 3 p.m.

The Blooming Prairie football team has so many quality skill players, that some of them had to be moved to play on the line. The Awesome Blossoms bring back their quarterback, a majority of their receivers and all of their running backs from last season. When the smoke clears, BP may just have a chance to get back to the Metrodome.

Playing to win


The Austin girls soccer program has improved vastly over the last few years, and this year it's hoping to be even better. All of the keys are in place — the Packers have experience all over the field. They have a hard-working group that loves to win. If things go right, it should be a good year.

Reshuffling and reloading

Boys and Girls Cross Country St. Olaf College, Northfield, Nov. 2 Class AA Girls: 10 a.m.; Class AA Boys: 11 a.m. Class A Girls: 1 p.m.; Class A Boys: 2 p.m.

Girls Tennis Oct. 22-25. Class A: Reed-Sweatt Tennis Center. Class AA: Baseline Tennis Center

Girls' Swimming Oct. 18-20, University of Minnesota Aquatics Center.



The Packer boys soccer team graduated a bulk of last year's roster, but this is not expected to be a rebuilding season. Thanks to a strong youth program and a quality JV team last season, Austin is still expecting to be near the top of the Big Nine. The faces may be different, but the wins should keep coming.

Unfinished business


The Grand Meadow football team had to settle for second place in the state football tournament last season, and although it graduated a lot of seniors, don't count the Superlarks out yet. Their JV team went undefeated last year, and the team returns much of its offensive firepower. Look for big things in GM this fall. FRIDAY, AUGUST 30, 2013


Stepping into new shoes “We look for her to be one The Austin boys and girls of the top contenders in the cross country teams have conference,” he said. “There’s some big shoes to fill this a younger girl from Rochester season, but each team has John Marshall who will be candidates to do that. good competition for her. The Austin girls graduSometimes with girls, they ated some quality runners, just come out of nowhere. but three-time state qualifier Nobody knew who Madison Madison Overby is back. was, and she won the Big Overby, who is a sophNine as an eighth-grader.” omore, attended a running The Austin boys lost three camp in Oregon over the runners from last season and summer and put in a few they’ll lean on senior Andrew extra miles as well. Baker, junior Quin Brunner, “I really needed to build senior Jacob Striker and sophup my base miles, and I’m omore Ben Walker. already feeling a lot stronger “We should be right in the this year than I was last Austin’s Madison Overby leads a pack of runners toward the finish line during last middle of the conference,” Einyear at this time,” Overby year’s state cross country meet. ertson said. “Andrew and Quin said. “My role leadership is had fantastic summers, and we’re expecting them a lot bigger this year. We have a lot of younger CHEDULE Home meets in bold to push themselves higher in the conference.” girls that could fill some big varsity spots.” Aug. 27 Austin Invite Cancelled Baker said he will share the team leadership The Packer girls will also look to Paiton Aug. 30 at Rosemount 11:05 a.m. duties with Brunner this season, and the duo Schwab, Justice Tabor and Kaitlin Einertson to Sept. 12 at Rochester Invite 4 p.m. should push each other. step up and there are a couple of seventh-graders Sept. 17 at Lake City 4:30 p.m. “Quin is up there with me, and he shows who could make the jump to varsity as well. Sept. 24 at Mankato West 4:30 p.m. at Owatonna 4:30 p.m. leadership qualities,” Baker said. “He helps lead Overby took first in the Big Nine as an Oct. 3 Austin Invite 4:30 p.m. and it’s not like I’m the only one leading. We eighth-grader and took Big Nine second in the Oct. 8 at Big Nine Meet put in a lot of summer miles, and hopefully meet last season. Tony Einertson hopes she’ll Oct. 15 in Owatonna 4 p.m. Quinn and I can both do well this year.” be near the top again this year.



Bruins will be on the blue-collar side The Austin Bruins are coming off back-to-back seasons that saw them play Follow the Bruins in the NAHL at Central Division Finals as they prepare for the upcoming season. The Bruins won the NAHL Central Division regular season title last season but had their season end in four games to the Bismarck Bobcats for the second-straight season. Austin head coach Chris Tok said that the team will look to Josh Bretner, Nick Lehr and Eli May. “We are expecting to have a blue-collar team,” Austin head coach Chris Tok said. “We are excited about the two goalies we have and the core defensive group. The forwards are a little more of a mystery at this point, but we will play fast and go hard to the net.” The Bruins had quite a few players move on from last season, so there will be some learning. “Keys to our success will be the development of our new players and the guidance and leadership we get from the veterans,” Tok said. The Bruins’ season opener will be against Brookings Oct. 5 in Riverside Arena. The team will host an exhibition game against the Minnesota Magicians Sept. 7 at 7:05 p.m.

The Bruins online



Numbers bolster Austin tennis The Austin girls tennis team is strong on numbers as it prepares for the upcoming season. The Packers bring back five players with varsity experience from last year's team that went 2-8 overall, and there are many other players who are still learning about the sport. “We have great numbers with motivated players who are willing to work hard, but some of them have a lack of varsity experience,” said Austin head coach Levon Larson, who is in his third year at the helm. The Packers will look to Alicia Sforza returns a Abbey Ball shot last season on Pauland Emily Jo- son Courts in Austin. hannsen to lead the way on the courts, and Larson is hoping his team can build up some more stamina for matches this fall. “We will place a greater focus on conditioning and increasing aggressiveness,” he said. Austin graduated six players from last year’s team.

SCHEDULE/Home duals in bold

Nicholas Lehr was a major strength for Austin last season and will be back in the net for the Bruins this season.

Aug. 20 Aug. 22 Aug. 29 Sept. 3 Sept. 5 Sept. 10 Sept. 12 Sept. 16 Sept. 17 Sept. 19 Sept. 24 Sept. 28

at Mankato East Tournnament Austin 7, Albert Lea 0 at Mankato West 4:30 p.m. vs. Rochester Century 4:30 p.m. at Mankato East 4:30 p.m. vs. Winona at Austin 4:30 p.m. at Rochester Mayo 4:30 p.m. vs. New Prague 4:30 p.m. at Owatonna 4:30 p.m. vs. Faribault 4:30 p.m. at Rochester JM 4:30 p.m. at Big Nine Tournament in Rochester 9 a.m.


Superlarks are reloading Grand Meadow hopes to follow up last year’s title game appearance with even more punch



SCHEDULE/Home games in bold Aug. 30 Sept. 6 Sept. 13 Sept. 20 Sept. 27 Oct. 4 Oct. 11 Oct. 16

vs. Lyle-Pacelli vs. LeRoy-Ostrander at Glenville-Emmons at Mabel-Canton vs. Houston at Lanesboro vs. Spring Grove at Lyle-Pacelli

7 p.m.

7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m.

7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m.

he Grand Meadow football team is looking to reload, not rebuild as it has to replace 10 seniors from last year’s team that took second place in the nine man state football tournament. The Superlarks have a good start as their two biggest offensive playmakers return. Senior quarterback Trenton Bleifus accounted for 3,142 yards of offense and 50 touchdowns last season, and junior running back Landon Jacobson tallied 1,833 total yards and 18 touchdowns last season. The Larks also bring back junior linemen Jordan Milland and Wyatt Richardson, who both saw time on varsity last season. “We’re really pumped up, and we’re going to try and do what we did last year,” Bleifus said. “I’m sure we’ll have a target on our back.” GM head coach Gary Sloan likes what Jacobson and Bleifus give him, but he knows it will take more than those two to get the Superlarks back to where they want to be, which is the Metrodome. Last year’s JV team went undefeated for the first time in Sloan’s 21 years as a head coach, and he hopes that winning will carry over to the varsity squad this fall. “Any good team is going to stop one or two guys, so we have to

have balance. That’s what we had last year, and we’ll need it again,” Sloan said. “We have our five or six solid guys right now, and if we can develop another four or five guys, than we can be pretty solid this season.” GM hopes to be in the mix for the SEC title, along with Spring Grove, Houston and Lanesboro. The team would also like to make a run at state again. “We had a lot of good players last year, and we’re bringing up some good sophomores,” senior lineman Isaac Tangen said. Much like last year’s squad, the Superlarks will not have a lot of size. But they will bring a lot of team speed to the table. “I’d rather be small and quick than big and slow,” Sloan said. GM will look to Blake Olson and Michael Stejskal to give the team a boost in the passing game, and Bleifus said he likes what he’s seen out of them so far. “They’re not as tall as (our receivers) last year, but they’re quicker, and they may have better hands,” he said. If the passing game is as strong as was last year; the Larks could be very tough to stop on offense this season, and big things could be headed their way. On defense, Jacobson was second on the team last season with 134 tackles, and Richardson was fifth with 91 tackles.

“I’m sure we’ll have a target on our back.” -Trenton Bleifus, GM quarterback

The Herald gets to know one of Grand Meadow’s major players in the Superlarks’ run to the Minnesota State High School Prep Bowl Nine Man title game with....

questions with Landon Jacobson

1) State championship game aside, what stands out for you about last year? Fighting through adversity. There were a couple times where our starters went down with injury. Our quarterback dislocated his finger in the beginning of the game, and that game turned out to be his best passing game of the season. Last year we had a lot of depth. So when injury struck, we AUSTIN DAILY HERALD - FALL JUMPSTART

could change it up and use the strength we had. Last season was my one season I got to play with my brother.

team from being predictable. Make it as hard to cover and defend as possible. Our goal will always be to win it all.

2) What stands out about this year's team? We’re young. Losing 11 seniors and most of them were starters makes us play young. We have a little bit of experience everywhere to help the underclassmen out a little.

4) What do you, on an individual level, want to accomplish? I want to improve from last year. Getting one of the conference awards at the end of the season. Back of the year or defensive player of the year.

3) Knowing what you and the team accomplished last year, what is your goal throughout the season this year? Get better every week. Keep our

5) What is playing in your MP3 player right now? “Sunset” by Kid Ink and “Cinderella Man” by Eminen. FRIDAY, AUGUST 30, 2013


GM looking to new faces on the floor, bench GRAND MEADOW — The Grand Meadow volleyball team will look to a new head coach and some new players to lead the way as it prepares for the season. The Superlarks will be led by first year head coach Tori Lind as they looks to replace a bulk of last year’s team that finished 15-11 overall. “We are looking to improve every game,” Lind said. “There is definitely going to be a learning curve that needs to be tackled. If the girls decide to work hard, we could be a completely different team at the end of the season.” The Superlarks have three players with varsity experience in Theresa Gehling, Rio Landers and Caitlyn Snyder. The team

Off the Field

JumpStart asked three area athletes some of their favorites

SCHEDULE/Home games in bold Aug. 23 Aug. 27 Aug. 29 Sept. 3 Sept. 5 Sept. 10 Sept. 12 Sept. 19 Sept. 24 Sept. 26 Oct. 1 Oct. 3 Oct. 8 Oct. 10

Randolph 3, Grand Meadow 0 (18-25, 18-25, 13-25) Hope Luth. 3, G. Meadow 1 (19-25, 16-25, 25-18, 16-25) at LeRoy-Ostrander 7:15 p.m. at Glenville-Emmons 7:15 p.m. vs Schaeffer Academy 7:15 p.m. vs. Spring Grove 7:15 p.m. at Lyle-Pacelli in Lyle 7:15 p.m. vs. LeRoy-Ostrander 7:15 p.m. vs. Glenville-Emmons 7:15 p.m. at Schaeffer Academy, 7:15 p.m. at Lanesboro 7:15 p.m. vs. Lyle-Pacelli 7:15 p.m. at Houston 7:15 p.m. at Mabel-Canton 7:15 p.m.

will also look for Jamie Stevens and Allison to step up. “Rio will need to have a large presence at the net,” Lind said. “Jamie Stevens will be the middle playing opposite of Rio. Jamie will also hold a lot of responsibility at the net. Allison Gehling is running our offense this year at the setter position and will need to bring a lot to the team.” Lind is hoping her young squad will mature throughout the season and finish stronger than they start. “Ball control is going to be a huge factor this year,” she said. “We need to consistently control the ball before we worry about anything else. I am hoping to lead this season with aggression serving and net play.”

Kristine Snyder

Quin Brunner

John Rumpza

Austin Volleyball

Austin Cross Country

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Hayfield looks to make waves as it switches conferences

win last year) was a turning point HAYFIELD — The Hayfield CHEDULE Home games in bold with our new coach. There’s a lot football team is hoping that a Hayfield 21, Goodhue 20 of things changing in the weight second year under its head Aug. 23 Aug. 30 vs. Southland 7 p.m. room and off the field.” coach and a new conference at Fillmore Central 7 p.m. The Vikings are off to a good alignment will give it the boost Sept. 6 vs. Rushford-Peterson 7 p.m. Sept. 13 start in 2013, after opening their it needs as it prepares for the upat Kingsland 7 p.m. Sept. 27 coming season. Oct. 4 vs. Chatfield 6:30 p.m. season with a 21-20 zero week win over Goodhue. The Vikings finished 1-8 over- Oct. 11 at Caledonia, 7 p.m. Hayfield tight end Carter Pesch all last season as they won their Oct. 16 vs. Wabasha-Kellogg 7 p.m. said that Weiers proved he could first game since 2009, and second lead the team last season, and he year head coach Andrew Weiers thinks year two will be even better. hopes that more improvements “He’s the best coach that I’ve had are on the way for his squad. in awhile,” he said. “He’s always “We’ve got a lot of kids comaround, and he puts in just as much ing back that saw a lot of good time as we do. He comes in early time (last year),” Weiers said. and he helps us better ourselves.” “We’ve also got kids coming The Vikings who return one of back who were injured last year their top play-makers in running and some new kids coming out.” back/wide receiver Cole Kruger, The Vikings are now part of put in a lot of work over the sumthe Southern Football Alliance mer and attended the Southwest Blue Division, which means they’ll State team camp. be facing off against more Weiers said the squad will schools similar sized as opposed rely on solid line on defense and offense. to when they took on bigger schools in the HVL. “We’ll be pretty solid on both sides,” he said. “Our of“We have a lot higher hopes than last year. Last year we went against some huge schools, and we’re going fensive line is really coming back together. We’ve got a solagainst some similar competition this year,” Hayfield line- id five up front, and our tight end and wing are coming backer Merrick Ducharme said. “We felt like (getting a back.”



“We felt like (getting a win last year) was a turning point with our new coach. There’s a lot of things changing in the weight room and off the field.” Merrick Ducharme, Hayfield linebacker

Coloe Kruger is one of Hayfield’s returners to a season the Vikings hope to make a statement in a new conference.

The Southland and Hayfield football teams joined the Southern Football Alliance Blue Division this season. Here are three issues each team must face this season. How to deal with the bye week? Southland and Hayfield will each have a bye week this fall, and while it will be a good chance to get players some rest, the teams’ coaches will also have their work cut out for them. They’ll have to find ways to keep practice interesting, and they’ll have to hope their team doesn’t lose any steam coming off the bye week. If things are done right, the bye week is an advantage, but it could also be a momentum killer.

How to scout new opponents Hayfield and Southland will both face off against squads they haven’t played in years, if ever. The coaching staffs will have to be on top of their games AUSTIN DAILY HERALD - FALL JUMPSTART

Questions facing Hayfield and Southland as they enter a new conference

when it comes to scouting other teams and coming up with a game plan.

Becoming rivals

The best thing about the new alignment is that Hayfield and Southland finally have a chance to meet on the football field. The Hayfield and Southland basketball and baseball teams have had some big regular season and postseason battles over the past few years, but their football teams have not faced off in the recent past. This is a great chance for two nearby schools to compete in another sport. Southland and Hayfield face off the second game of the season in Hayfield. The Vikings are coming off a 21-20 season-opening win against Goodhue on the road while Southland fell 28-20 to RushfordPeterson at home.

Hayfield CC runs deep HAYFIELD — The Hayfield cross country team is turning to a new head coach as it brings back the majority of its runners from last year. Former Hayfield assistant coach Kellie Baker is taking over as head coach for a team that graduated just two runners from last season. Baker expects Hannah Conroy to lead the girls and Jon Feischmann and Gabe Tempel, who went to state last season, to lead the boys. “All three of these individuals are very dedicated young athletes and have been putting in many summer miles, including captains practices,” Baker said. “The Hayfield cross country team is like a family and everyone supports and encourages one another. The athletes are always so good about cheering one another on whether it be in practice or at the meets. Before every meet, the team has dinner together. The athletes love it and it makes

SCHEDULE/Home meets in bold Aug. 29 Sept. 5 Sept. 10 Sept. 17 Sept. 24 Oct. 1 Oct. 8

Oct. 15 Oct. 24

at Stewartville 4 p.m. Hayfield Invite 4:15 p.m. at Byron 4:30 p.m. at Byron 4:30 p.m. at Blooming Prairie Invite 4:30 p.m. at Chatfield 4:30 p.m. at Plainvew-Elgin-Millville 4:30 p.m. Hayfield Invite 4:30 p.m. at Rochester Lourdes 4 p.m.

for great team bonding.” Baker is looking forward to taking over as head coach and she hopes her athletes show a strong work ethic. “I’d like to see everyone working hard whether it be in practice or at the meets,” she said. “I want them to always try their best and always aim for a new personal record at that course. If they continue to work hard, I think we’ll have a lot in the top ten at each meet.” FRIDAY, AUGUST 30, 2013


Hayfield VB running off a strong returning base HAYFIELD — The Hayfield volleyball team is turning to a new coach to lead a strong group of players this season. Jeremy Struck, who has 14 years of coaching experience at the middle school and JV levels, is taking over as Hayfield's new head coach. The team has eight players back from last year's team that went 19-8 overall. Hayfield will be led by Dani Wagner, Jessie Foster, Sydney Tapp and Jo Bungum. “Dani is a smart attacker, puts up a huge block, and can end a rally in an instant,” Struck said. “Jessie is our floor leader and uses her athleticism to set up our offense. Sydney is one of our primary passers and sees the court well on offense. Jo is a versatile player who is a good defender and uses all parts of the court to get kills.” Hayfield advanced to the subsection semifinals last season and hopes to get back there again. “The returning starters are incredibly athletic and versatile,” Struck said. “We will need to use our quickness to track down

SCHEDULE/Home matches in bold Aug. 22 Aug. 29 Sept. 3 Sept. 5 Sept. 7 Sept. 10 Sept. 17 Sept. 19 Sept. 24 Sept. 28 Oct. 1 Oct. 3 Oct. 8 Oct. 18 Oct. 19

Johanna Bungum will help form a core group of returners fueling the Hayfield Vikings into 2013.

Gopher Volleyball Schedule UAB/Samford Tournament, at Birmingham, Ala. •Aug. 30 vs. Jacksonville State, noon; vs. University of Alabama, Birmingham, 7 p.m. •Aug. 31 vs. Georgia State,10 a.m.; vs. Samford, 5 p.m. Diet Coke Classic at the University of Minnesota Sports Pavilion •Sept. 6 Duke vs. Western Illinois 5 p.m.; Minn. vs. Ball State 7:30 p.m. •Sept. 7 Duke vs. Ball State 11 a.m.; Minnesota vs. Western Illinois, 1 p.m.; Western Illinois vs. Ball State, 5 p.m.; Minnesota vs. Duke, 7:30 p.m. •Oct. 27 vs. Northwestern 1 p.m. Bluegrass Battle, Lexington, Kentucky at Purdue 6 p.m. •Sept. 13 vs. Louisville 4 p.m. •Nov. 1 at Indiana 6 p.m. •Sept. 14 vs. Kentucky 6 p.m. •Nov. 2 vs. Iowa 7 p.m. Dartmouth Tournament, Hanover, N.H. •Nov. 8 TBA •Sept. 20 vs. Rhode Island, 9 a.m.; vs. •Nov. 10 vs. Nebraska •Nov. 15 vs. Ohio State 7 p.m. New Hampshire, 4:30 p.m. 7 p.m. •Sept. 21 vs. Connecticut, 11 a.m.; vs. •Nov. 16 vs. Penn State •Nov. 22 at Michigan, 6 p.m. Dartmouth, 6 p.m. TBA •Sept. 25 vs. Sports Pavilion TBA •Nov. 23 at Michigan State 7 p.m. •Sept. 29 vs. Purdue 1 p.m. •Nov. 27 vs. Wisconsin 7 p.m. •Oct. 4 at Nebraska 7 p.m. •Nov. 30 at Illinois •Oct. 5 at Iowa 7 p.m. •Oct. 9 at Penn State TBA All home matches played at •Oct. 12 at Ohio State 6 p.m. the University of Minnesota •Oct. 17 vs. Michigan St. 6 p.m. •Oct. 19 vs. Michigan 7 p.m. Sports Pavilion. •Oct. 23 at Wisconsin 7 p.m.



Hayfield 3, Medford 0 (25-21, 26-24, 25-17) at Austin 7:15 p.m. at Triton 7:15 p.m. vs. Goodhue 7:15 p.m. Hayfield Invite 8:30 a.m. at Cannon Falls 7:15 p.m. vs. Rochester Lourdes 7:15 p.m. at Byron 7:15 p.m. at Lake City 7:15 p.m. at Rochester Century Invite 8 a.m. vs. Kenyon-Wanamingo 7:15 p.m. at La Crescent 7:15 p.m. vs. Zumbrota-Mazeppa 7:15 p.m. at Rochester Invite 5:15 p.m. at Rochester Invite 10 a.m.

balls and be consistently good on passing. We will need to use our athleticism and quickness to take advantage of mismatches, as well as, finding open space for kills.”

Gopher Football Schedule •Aug. 29 •Sept. 7

vs. UNLV at TCF Bank Stadium 6 p.m. at New Mexico State at Las Cruces, N.M. 7 p.m. •Sept. 14 vs Western Illinois at TCF Bank Stadium 11 a.m. •Sept. 21 vs. San Jose State at TCF Bank Stadium TBA •Sept. 28 vs. Iowa at TCF Bank Stadium (Homecoming) 2:30 p.m. •Oct. 5 at Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich. 2:30 p.m. •Oct. 19 at Northwestern in Evanston, Ill. TBA •Oct. 26 vs. Nebraska at TCF Bank Stadium TBA •Nov. 2 at Indiana at Bloomington, Ind. 2:30 p.m. •Nov. 9 vs. Penn St. at TCF Bank Stadium TBA •Nov. 23 vs Wisconsin at TCF Bank Stadium TBA •Nov. 30 vs. Michigan State at TCF Bank Stadium TBA

Follow Gopher sports at Gophers’ quarterback Phillip Nelson. Photo Courtesy University of Minnesota


L-O banking on experience to go further LEROY — The Cardinals are hoping some experience will go a long way as they look to improve on last year's record of 2-7 overall. LeRoy-Ostrander brings back 11 players with varsity experience, including junior quarterback Jace Bunne, who totaled 1,687 yards of offense and 15 touchdowns last season.

The Cards will also look to Nate Bunne, Lucas Grass and Zach Royston to lead the way. "We're a year older and a year stronger. We are looking to be competitive in all of our games this year," LO head coach Aaron Hungerholt, who is in his sixth year at the helm, said. "The boys have been working hard this offseason, and they spent a lot of extra

SCHEDULE/Home games in bold Aug. 30 Sept. 6 Sept. 13 Sept. 20

vs. Glenville-Emmons at Grand Meadow vs. Lyle-Pacelli at Houston 7 p.m.

7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m.

time in the weight room." LO will have to find a way to replace run-

Sept. 27 Oct. 4 Oct. 11 Oct. 16

vs. Mabel-Canton at Spring Grove 7 p.m. vs. Lanesboro at Glenville-Emmons

7 p.m.

7 p.m. 7 p.m.

ning back Lucas Roe, who accounted for much of the team's offense last season.

Cardinals VB targets top of the SEC LEROY —The LeRoy-Ostrander volleyball team is hoping to stay near the top of the Southeast Conference this season. The Cardinals, who went 20-10 overall last season, graduated five players from that team, but they bring back three athletes with a lot of varsity experience. “This year there could be a number of different girls stepping up as leaders throughout the year,” said LO head coach Kelly May, who is in her second year at the helm. “There are three seniors on the team that will be expected to contribute.” May said that some of her players will have to adjust quickly to playing volleyball at the varsity level this season. “We are looking to improve each day and grow together as a team,” May said.


“This year three could be a number of different girls stepping up as leaders throughout the year.” -Kelly May, LeRoy-Ostrander head coach

SCHEDULE/Home matches in bold Aug. 27

Aug. 29 Sept. 3 Sept. 5 Sept. 10 Sept. 17 Sept. 19 Sept. 24 Sept. 26 Oct. 1 Oct. 3 Oct. 8 Oct. 10

Mabel-Canton 3, LeRoy-Ostrander 0 (3-25, 5-25, 4-25) vs. Grand Meadow 7:15 p.m. at Schaeffer Academy 7:15 p.m. vs. Lyle-Pacelli 7:15 p.m. vs. Houston 7:15 p.m. vs. Glenville-Emmons 7:15 p.m. at Grand Meadow 7:15 p.m. vs. Schaeffer Academy 7:15 p.m. at Lyle-Pacelli 7:15 p.m. at Spring Grove 7:15 p.m. vs. Hope Lutheran 7:15 p.m. at Glenville-Emmons 7:15 p.m. at Lanesboro 7:15 p.m.



Combating muscle soreness

Although muscle soreness cannot be fully prevented, here are some simple techniques an athlete can do post workout if experiencing delay onset muscle soreness:

Once again, fall sports are under way and that means long days of practice in the early mornings and late afternoon. Because of these longer practices, decreased rest time and muscle recovery between practices is limited. Practices for many of these athletes are intense and can become painful, especially if the athletes have not been training regularly throughout the summer or offseason months. Individuals who are not accustomed to the regular workouts at high intensity may begin to experience delayed onset muscle soreness. There are various reasons which may cause an athlete to experience the muscle soreness associated with extreme physical activity. For purposes of this article, when I refer to muscle soreness, I am mainly focusing on soreness that mainly is present in the legs post workout. The main causes of the muscle soreness can be caused by decreased muscle recovery time between practices, deconditioned athletes and muscles and build-up of lactic acid in the muscles post workouts. All of these factors contribute to some degree and are part of beginning a new workout regimen. However, there are a few helpful hints to help decrease the level of soreness one may achieve post workouts. The most important piece of advice is to try to ease into fall workouts by starting a conditioning program specific to your sport earlier in the summer. This will help to get your muscles accustomed to the stresses directly related to your sport, which allows the athlete to build muscle endurance and strength.

Always practice proper hydration and nutrition pre and post workouts. This allows musto recover quicker between workouts. 1cles 2Take time to cool down post workouts; include the following:

Milk coming to the forefront

•Calcium, vitamin D, phosphorus, protein and potassium to build and maintain strong bones and reduce the risk of stress fractures. Routinely drinking milk after a resistance training workout has been shown to help improve body composition and research shows that milk supports endurance exercise performance when consumed between two intensive workouts. How you take care of your body after your workout makes a difference in how you feel and how you perform. The nutrients are natural components of milk and the cost is less than 25 cents a glass. Make the switch today. Your body and your coach will thank you.

It’s time for a quiz. True/False: Drinking milk has shown to be an excellent way to replace fluid lost during exercise. True/False: Drinking milk after a workout may help reduce muscle damage and recovery, which in turn may help the body perform better at its next workout. True/False: Drinking milk as a post-workout beverage can increase the body’s ability to make new muscle and help improve body composition over time. You are right if you said they are all true. Chocolate milk and low fat milk are emerging as the best sports drinks within the recovery drink world because of a powerful nutrient package that each supplies. Every serving provides essential nutrients — nine to be precise — which help the body function properly and perform at its best. Chocolate milk is increasingly studied for its role in refueling. Here are a few reasons why it’s emerging as a leader: •High-quality protein to build lean muscle. •The right carb to protein ratio scientifically shown to refuel and rebuild exhausted muscles. •Vitamin A to support a healthy immune system and good vision. •Electrolytes including calcium, potassium, sodium and magnesium to help replenish what is lost in sweat. •Milk is 90 percent water, so it’s an effective way to stay hydrated. •B vitamins for energy.



•Cool down should include some walking, light jogging. •Light stretching to all the major muscle groups of the lower body to help relieve muscle tension. •Use of Ice and or heat on the sore muscles. smart use of time between practices/workouts, get off your feet elevate them above 3Make heart level and REST! Most important for all athletes, make sure to understand the difference between muscle soreness and a muscle strain. DO NOT HESITATE to contact your local healthcare provider for further diagnosis if your symptoms last more than a few days. All the above information is written as general information and is not meant to replace appropriate medical care by a licensed physician

Chocolate peanut butter breakfast Shake Serves 1 All you need •1 cup chocolate milk •½ cup frozen banana slices •1 tablespoon peanut butter •½ teaspoon vanilla •¼ teaspoon cinnamon All you do Combine all ingredients in a blender; blend

until smooth and creamy. Ser ve in a tall glass or on-the-go container. Nutrition Facts per serving: 270 calories, 9 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 220 mg sodium, 35 grams carbohydrates, 3 gram fiber, 15 grams protein, 35% calcium. Source: Midwest Dairy Association AUSTIN DAILY HERALD - FALL JUMPSTART

Southland’s Marvin Heimer breaks free on what was a 49-yard touchdown run against Rushford-Peterson in Adams earlier in August. The Rebels lost 28-20 to the Trojans.

Rebels adjust ‘O’ for a new kind of football ADAMS —The Southland football team is going to have a much different look this season. The team graduated some of its top playmakers from over the past few seasons, and now it’s up to the next group of Rebels to take over. “We don’t have a lot of guys that saw a lot of playing time last year, but that’s fine,” Southland head coach Shawn Kennedy said. “A lot of teams are in that boat, and we’ve had lot of guys who worked hard in the weight room in the offseason.” Senior wide receiver Alex Ruechel and senior wide receiv-

SCHEDULE/Home games in bold Aug. 23 Aug. 30 Sept. 6 Sept. 13 Sept. 20 Sept. 27 Oct. 4 Oct. 16

Rushford-Peterson 28, Southland 20 at Hayfield vs. Kingsland at Chatfield vs. Caledonia at Wabasha-Kellogg 7 p.m. vs. Goodhue at Fillmore Central

7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m.

7 p.m. 7 p.m.

Kennedy said he’s willing to take a look and see what fits his team the best. “We’re a whole different team this year, and we have to look at our personnel and evaluate what we’re going to do,” he said. “I’m kind of an old-fashioned kind of coach, but I also know if we have to adjust things to help the kids, we’ll do that.” Trent Reinartz is likely to be Southland’s new quarterback and Kloeckner said the passing game could do some damage. “Trent has a great arm, and we’ve got receivers that can catch,” he said. “A lot of (our players) are new and young. We have to

“We’re a whole different team this year, and we have to look to our personnel and evaluate what we’re going to do” -Shawn Kennedy, Southland head football coach er Ike Kloeckner are two of the main returnees from last year’s team that went 4-5 overall, along with Jackson Koenigs and Marvin Heimer. Ruechel likes what he’s seen out of his younger teammates so far and said the group wants to make sure Southland’s strong football tradition stays intact. “We just want to keep it going. We’ve had a good team over the last few years, and we’ve got to overachieve this year, beAUSTIN DAILY HERALD -FALL JUMPSTART

cause we’ve got such low numbers. We’re going to try to be good,” Ruechel said. “I’m going to try and be a leader and have the younger kids look up to me. I’ll try and be a role model and show those guys to work hard and be the best they can be.” The Rebels have traditionally been a power running team, but after graduating their entire backfield and having a roster that isn’t very big, Southland will have to consider passing a bit more this season.

help them out and show them how to do it. They’ll step up.” Kennedy said his seniors have shown strong leadership early, and the team has put in the work he expects from them. “The seniors have really stepped up and they’ve really taken the bull by the horns. I’ve been really impressed by that,” he said. “These kids have always worked hard. I never have to worry about their work ethic. They’re always willing to lay it on the line.” FRIDAY, AUGUST 30, 2013



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Southland will need a speedy learning curve ADAMS — The Rebels will have a new look and a new coach as they prepare for the upcoming volleyball season. Southland returns just two players with varsity experience from last year’s team that went 7-19 overall as Andrea McKichan takes over as head coach. The Rebels will look for senior Morgan Schmitz to lead the way, and senior Hannah Holst also has varsity experience. “We have some really great athleticism,” McKichan said. “In addition, they are hard workers and persistent in trying to learn the faster-paced varsity game. Weaknesses: inexperience. We are hoping to overcome the learning curve to varsity play very quickly.” The Rebels are relying on their inexperienced players to get used to the game quickly this season. “We want to play well as a team and be competitive every time we step on the court,” McKichan said.

“We want to play well as a team and be competitive every time we step on the court.” -Andrea McKichan, Southland VB head coach

SCHEDULE/Home matches in bold

Aug. 27 vs. Albert Lea (Postponed) Aug. 29 at Saint Charles, 7:15 p.m. Aug. 31 at Rochester Invite, 8 a.m. Sept. 5 vs. Kingsland 7:15 p.m. Sept. 7 at Hayfield Tournament 8:30 a.m. Sept. 10 at Blooming Prairie, 7:30 p.m. Sept. 12 vs. Chatifeld 7:15 p.m. Set. 14 Southland Tournament 8 a.m. Sept. 17 at Fillmore Central 7:15 p.m. Sept. 19 at Plainview-Elgin-Millville 7:15 p.m. Sept. 24 vs. Dover-Eyota 7:15 p.m. Sept. 26 at Caledonia 7:15 p.m. Oct. 1 at Austin, 7:15 p.m. Oct. 3 vs. Winona Cotter at Southland 7:15 p.m. Oct. 7 at Lewiston-Altura, 7:15 p.m. Oct. 10 vs. Rushford-Peterson 7:15 p.m. Oct. 15 vs. Wabasha-Kellogg 7:15 p.m.

GMLOS hoping for a full girls squad in 2013 ADAMS — The Grand Meadow-LeRoyOstrander-Southland cross country team is still young in its second season as a program, but its hoping to field a full girls team. GMLOS girls bring back Stephanie Sukalski and the boys return Daniel Gottschalk with experience as varsity runners,and there are plenty of new runners in the mix as well. GMLOS head coach Chris Detert expects Peter Torkelson to lead the boys

along with Gottschalk. “I’m looking forward to the season,” Detert said. “There are a bunch of new kids out who I’m excited to see how they can run. The girls will have a varsity squad, so I’d like to see them compete well as a team and challenge themselves.” The GMLOS boys likely won’t have enough runners to put up a team score, but Detert hopes they still push each other and race hard.

“There are a bunch of new kids out who I’m excited to see how they can run.” -Chris Detert, Southland XC head coach


Aug. 29 at Stewartville, 4 p.m. Sept. 5 at Hayfield, 4:15 p.m. Sept. 10 at Dover-Eyota, 4:30 p.m. Sept. 19 at Pine Island, 4:30 p.m. AUSTIN DAILY HERALD - FALL JUMPSTART

Sept. 24 at Kingsland, 4:30 p.m. Oct. 3 at Lewiston, 4:30 p.m. Oct. 8 at Austin, 4:30 p.m.



Riverland Volleyball Schedule Aug. 23 Aug. 24 Aug. 30 Sept. 4 Sept. 6 Sept. 7 Sept. 11 Sept. 14 Sept. 18 Sept. 21

at Southeastern Tourney at Southeastern Tourney at Anoka-Ramsey vs. Western Tech. at Rochester Tournament at Rochester Tournament vs. Minnesota West vs. St. Cloud Tech. at RCTC 6:30 p.m. at Ridgewater 1 p.m.

TBA TBA 6:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m. TBA TBA 6:30 p.m. 1 p.m.

Riverland Soccer Schedule Aug. 23 at Bismarck State 3 p.m. Aug. 24 vs. Western Wyoming in Bismarck 1:30 p.m. Aug. 30 at St Mary’s JV 4 p.m. Sept. 4 vs. Dakota County 4 p.m. Sept. 7 vs. Waldorf JV 1 p.m.

Minnesota Vikings 2013 Season

All times CDT Sept. 8 Sept. 15 Sept. 22 Sept. 29 Bye Oct. 13 Oct. 21 Oct. 27



at Detroit at Chicago vs. Cleveland vs. Pittsburgh

Noon Noon Noon Noon

vs. Carolina Noon at New York Giants 7:40 p.m. vs. Green Bay 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 22 Sept. 25 Sept. 28 Oct. 5 Oct. 9 Oct. 11 Oct. 12 Oct. 16

at NIACC Tourna. 2 vs. Bethel JV 7 at Fergus Falls 1 at St. Cloud 1 at Minnesota West 6:30 vs. Anoka-Ramsey 6:30 vs. Fergus Falls 1 vs. Ridgewater 6:30 Oct. 23 at Western Tech. 6:30 Oct. 30 vs. RCTC 6:30

p.m. p.m. p.m. p.m. p.m. p.m. p.m. p.m. p.m. p.m.

Sept. 11 at Anoka-Ramsey 4 p.m. Sept. 14 at Waldorf JV 1 p.m. Sept. 20 at Century 4 p.m. Sept. 25 vs. Anoka-Ramsey 4 p.m. Aug. 28 at Dakota County 7 p.m. Oct. 5 at Bismarck State 1 p.m. Oct. 11 vs. Century 4 p.m. Oct. 12 vs. St. Mary’s JV 1 p.m. Nov. 3 at Dallas Nov. 7 vs. Washington Nov. 17 at Seattle Nov. 24 at Green Bay Dec. 1 vs. Chicago Dec. 8 at Baltimore Dec. 15 vs. Philadelphia Dec. 22 at Cincinnati Dec. 29 vs. Detroit

Noon 7:25 p.m. 3:25 p.m. Noon Noon Noon Noon Noon Noon AUSTIN DAILY HERALD - FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

Optimism high coming into season Despite the lingering possibility LP might not have a team, the Athletics are coming into 2013 ready LYLE — The Lyle-Pacelli football team is preparing for this season with a little more optimism than it had in years past. The Athletics won their first game under head coach Reid Olson last season as they finished 1-8 overall, and they come into this year’s season with a little more experience on their side. “We’ve got a lot of returning people because we had a lot of young people last year, and we have a lot of young people again this year,” Olson said. “We need to get to a point where we can be competitive from week one to week eight. Once we accomplish that, the wins will come.” The Athletics have just two seniors, but they have a large

SCHEDULE/Home games in bold Aug. 30 Sept. 6 Sept. 13 Sept. 20 Sept. 27 Oct. 4 Oct. 11 Oct. 16

at Grand Meadow vs. Glenville-Emmons at LeRoy-Ostrander vs. Spring Grove at Lanesboro at Mabel-Canton vs. Houston at Art Hass Stadium in Austin vs. Grand Meadow

7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m.

number of sophomores who will help carry the load. Senior tight end Matt Kasel said the team has been as ready to go as he can recall. “I was really excited to know we were going to have a season. It was kind of scary when it was a question (over the summer),” Kasel said. “This is the most fun I’ve ever had to start a football season.” The Athletics will also return junior quarterback Jordan Hart, who was thrown into the spot when he was an undersized freshman. Now Hart is physically ready to handle the position.

“Jordan has grown tremendously,” Olson said. “I joke with him that if he keeps growing, I’ll need him on the offensive line next season. He is going to be one of our keys, Matt Kasel will be key, and our sophomore running backs will be key.” Hart said he would like to help the LP football program take some big steps over the next seasons. “I’d like to see the program eventually get up there like Grand Meadow and Spring Grove and have those teams fear us,” he said. Kasel knows one of his primary jobs on the team is to show the ropes to the younger players on the team so the program is in good shape in the future. “I’ve got to do my part and make sure everybody does the right thing,” Kasel said. “They’re great kids, and it’s really easy to lead them.” Olson is hoping this season is a solid step in a long-term plan. “Rebuilding a program continues to be a process. A lot of people want instant success, but it takes awhile,” he said. The Athletics have 17 players on their roster, so they will have to avoid the injury bug.

Lyle-Pacelli quarterback Jordan Hart rolls back for a hand-off against Mabel-Canton last season.




The gang’s all here LP returns six with varsity experience LYLE — The Lyle-Pacelli volleyball team brings back most of its team that went 916 overall last season, and the Athletics are hoping a little experience will give them a boost this fall. LP has six players back from last season, including Sarah Holtz, Annie Holtz, Madison Truckenmiller and Bethany Strouf. LP will also bring up eighth-grader Brooke Walter this season. “The dynamic of the team is looking pretty good this year,” LP head coach Lindsay Leif said. “These girls know each other pretty good, and they’re a pretty athletic group.”

SCHEDULE/Home matches in bold Aug. 27

Aug. 29 Sept. 5 Sept. 7 Sept. 9 Sept. 10 Sept. 12 Sept. 14 Sept. 17

Sept. 19

Sept. 23 Sept. 24 Sept. 26

Lyle-Pacelli’s Sarah Holtz spikes past Schaeffer Academy’s Melanie Murry during their match last year at Pacelli.



Oct. 1 Oct. 3 Oct. 7 Oct. 10

Houston 3, LP 1 (25-22, 21-25, 25-27, 15-25) at Glenville-Emmons 7:15 p.m. at LeRoy-Ostrander 7:15 p.m. at Hayfield Tournament 8:30 a.m. at Riceville, Iowa 7 p.m. vs. Lanesboro in Lyle 7:15 p.m. vs. G. Meadow in Lyle 7:15 p.m. at Southland Tournament 8 a.m. vs. Schaeffer Acad. in Pacelli 7:15 p.m. vs. Glenville-Emmons in Pacelli 7:15 p.m. at Randolph 7:15 p.m. at Spring Grove 7:15 p.m. vs. LeRoy-Ostrander Pacelli 7:15 p.m. at Mabel-Canton 7:15 p.m. at Grand Meadow 7:15 p.m. at Schaeffer Academy 7:15 p.m. at Hope Lutheran 8:15 p.m.

Kraemer leads Pacelli XC squad The Pacelli boys cross country teams bring back four runners with varsity experience and the Pacelli girls bring back three runners from last year’s squads. The girls will lean on Madeline Kraemer, who is in her sixth season on the team and her third season as a team captain, and Sarah Kahle, who went to the state meet in 2011. “We will count heavily on these two to lead a very young team,” said Pacelli head coach Jim Parlin, who Madeline Kraemer is in his 30th year at the helm. “We have good experience on the girls team along with Madeline and Sarah. We also have junior Katherine Ethen and some good young talent coming up.” The Pacelli boys are hoping to make strides this year as well. “We hope to improve every day on an individual basis and are looking to put together competitive teams for both the boys and girls squads,” Parlin said. “We have a great group of kids out this year and I am looking forward to seeing how our younger kids develop as the the season progresses.”

SCHEDULE Aug. 29 Sept. 5 Sept. 10 Sept. 19 Sept. 24 Oct. 3 Oct. 15

at Stewartville at Hayfield at Dover-Eyota at Pine Island at Kingsland at Lewiston-Altura at Chatfield

4 p.m. 4:15 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m.


Surging forward Last year’s bitter, season-ending loss to Bethlehem Academy is only acting as fuel for this year BLOOMING PRAIRIE — The Awesome Blossoms have played in six straight Section 1A title football games, but they had a tough time getting through their latest offseason without thinking back to their most recent appearance in the section title game. BP had its season end last year at home on a 52-13 loss to eventual state runner-up Faribault Bethlehem Academy a few weeks after the Blossoms had beaten FBA. “We want to get back and hopefully go farther. We turned that game into motivation,” BP senior lineman Dylan Heuer said. “We’re very motivated. We’re looking forward to working hard and getting better every day.” BP head coach Chad Gimbel isn’t dwelling on last year’s loss, but he’d like to see his team play better in the face of adversity this season. He’d also like to see his squad work to get better as the year goes on. “The biggest thing we talked about wasn’t so much the loss as much as how we lost (to FBA),” Gimbel said. “We felt like we didn’t handle adversity very well last year. We’re going to find a way to keep games close and find a way to win. We graduated five very good players. We feel like we’ve got a number of good players coming back. The cupboards aren’t bare.” BP brings back junior quarterback John Rumpza, who threw for 2,945 yards, 38 touchdowns and nine interceptions last season. The team also returns receivers Hunter Rudlong, Cole Sunde and Weston Fiebiger and running backs Jake Decker and Scott Romeo. “I know the system better, and I know the receivers a lot better. I feel a lot more comfortable and we’re really deep in the skill positions this year,” Rumpza said. Fiebiger had 613 yards receiving last year, but he’s more worried about the other side of the ball, where he racked up 96 tackles as a linebacker. BP also brings back Brett Wacek, who was a force on defense last season. “I’m extremely pumped. It’s my last time. Hopefully I go out on top,” Fiebiger said. “My main focus is on defense. You can’t win games without defense. We want to make it easier on the offense and let other teams scoreless.” BP graduated a couple of its linemen from last season, but Gimbel said the team has reloaded and is looking for ways to add depth to the position. “A lot of people think we lost our line, but we have three guys back who started at different times,” Gimbel said. “We’re trying to build depth on the line, and we’re moving some skill position guys to the line.”

SCHEDULE/Home games in bold

Blooming Prairie’s Scott Romeo hauls Minnesota Valley Lutheran defenders on a run last fall in Booming Prairie. AUSTIN DAILY HERALD - FALL JUMPSTART

Aug. 30 Sept. 6 Sept. 13 Sept. 20 Sept. 27 Oct. 4 Oct. 11 Oct. 16

at New Richland-HEG vs. Lake Crystal-Welcome-Memorial at Lester Prairie vs. Waterville-Elysian-Morristown vs. St. Clair at Mankato Loyola at Maple River vs. Faribault Bethlehem Academy

7 p.m.

7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m.

7 p.m.



BP netters looking to build off 2012 BLOOMING PRAIRIE —The Awesome Blossoms are coming off one of their best volleyball seasons in school history, and they hope to put together another solid season. BP went 21-9 overall last year, which was the second most wins in a season in school history, and the team brings back five players from that team. BP will get some strong leadership from juniors Madison Worke, Taylor Hagen and Nicole Inwards, who are all entering their third season as starters. Hagen, a middle hitter, had 197 complete blocks last season, Inwards, a libero, had 378 digs last season and Worke, a setter, had 681 set assists last season. “Madison has added more hitting to her arsenal this year, and we expect more from her defensively, both at the net and in the back court,” BP head coach Gina McLaughlin said. “Taylor has fun and takes pride in her net play. We will look for her to hassle our opponents’ best hitters and put the ball away for us on offense. Nicole has a great read on

SCHEDULE/Home matches in bold Aug. 27

Sept. 3 Sept. 5 Sept. 7 Sept. 10 Sep. 12 Sept. 14 Sept. 16 Sept. 19 Sept. 24

Sept. 26 Sept. 28 Oct. 1 Oct. 3

Blooming Prairie’s Taylor Hagen spikes against Hayfield in game three of a match in the Section 1A-West Division Tournament last season in Hayfield.



Oct. 8 Oct. 10 Oct. 15

Medford 4, BP 1 (16-25, 21-25, 25-22, 23-25) vs. Austin 7:15 p.m. vs. New Richland-HEG 7:15 p.m. at Hayfield Tournament 8:30 a.m. vs. Southland 7:15 p.m. vs. Medford 7:15 p.m. at Southland Tournament 7:15 p.m. vs. Alden-Conger 7:15 p.m. at United South Central 7:15 p.m. at Waterville-Elysian-Morristown 7:15 p.m. vs. Faribault BA 7:15 p.m. at LeRoy-Ostrander Tournament 9 a.m. vs. Randolph 7:15 p.m. at Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton 7:15 p.m. at New Richland-HEG 7:15 p.m. vs. Waterville-Elysian-Morristown 7:15 p.m. at Randolph 7:15 p.m.

defense and is quick to get under a hard-driven ball. She often makes major plays to keep our rallies alive.” BP will also look to Lizz Willert, Delaney Nelson, Sara Noble, Lauren Larkoski and Molly Walsh to step up. McLaughlin is expecting her team to play hard and hopes they can build some team chemistry as the season progresses. “When we find the right combination on the court and just focus on doing things correctly and well, we will be difficult to beat,” McLaughlin said.

“When we find the right combination on the court and just focus on doing things correctly and well, we will be difficult to beat.” -Gina McLaughlin, Blooming Prairie volleyball coach Prairie Family & Sports

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Runners use offseason to gear up BLOOMING PRAIRIE —The Blooming Prairie cross country team brings back 10 runners with varsity experience as it prepares for the season. The BP boys bring back Tom Wanous, David Hansen, Isaac Baker, Evan Doerhoefer, Elijah Baker and Alec Ille, and the BP girls bring back Kendra Boecker, Alanna Grant and Sevin Cremeans. “The boys will be very young this year, but many of the guys worked very hard this summer in preparation for the season,” BP head coach John Bruns said. “The girls lost quite a bit to graduation, but they bring back three of our top seven runners.”

SCHEDULE/Home meets in bold Aug. 29 Sept. 5 Sept. 13 Sept. 17 Sept. 21

at Stewartville at Hayfield at Mankato Loyola at New Richland-HEG at Milaca

4 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 10 a.m.

Sept. 24 Oct. 3 Oct. 8 Oct. 15

Blooming Prairie Invitational at Wasceca at United South Central at Mankto Loyola

4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4 p.m.

Farmers’ Almanac: Super Bowl maybe be ‘Storm Bowl’ Associated Press LEWISTON, Maine — The Farmers’ Almanac is using words like “piercing cold,” ‘’bitterly cold” and “biting cold” to describe the upcoming winter. And if its predictions are right, the first outdoor Super Bowl in years will be a messy “Storm Bowl.” The 197-year-old publication that hits newsstands Monday predicts a winter storm will hit the Northeast around the time the Super Bowl is played at MetLife Stadium in the Meadowlands in New Jersey. It also predicts a colder-than-normal winter for two-thirds of the country and heavy snowfall in the Midwest, Great Lakes and New England. “We’re using a very strong four-letter word to describe this winter, which is C-O-LD. It’s going to be very cold,” said Sandi Duncan, managing editor. Based on planetary positions, sunspots and lunar cycles, the almanac’s secret formula is largely unchanged since founder David Young published the first almanac in 1818. Modern scientists don’t put much stock in sunspots or tidal action, but the almanac says its forecasts used by readers to plan weddings and plant gardens are correct about 80 percent of the time. Last year, the forecast called for cold weather for the eastern and central U.S. with milder temperatures west of the Great Lakes. It started just the opposite but ended up that way.


C a l e b We a t h e r b e e , the publication’s elusive progThe Farmer’s Almanac is nosticator, said predicting the first ten he was off by days of February for only a couple of possible heavy winter weather. That would days on two of directly influence the the season’s Super Bowl on Feb. 2 at biggest storms: MetLIfe Stadium in New a February blizJersey’s Meadowlands zard that paralyzed the Northeast with 3 feet of snow in some places and a sloppy storm the day before spring’s arrival that buried parts of New England. Readers who put stock in the almanac’s forecasts may do well to stock up on long johns, especially if they’re lucky enough to get tickets to the Super Bowl on Feb. 2. The first Super Bowl held outdoors in a cold-weather environment could be both super cold and super messy, with a big storm due Feb. 1 to 3, the almanac says. Said Duncan: “It really looks like the Super Bowl may be the Storm Bowl.” The Maine-based Farmers’ Almanac, not to be confused with the New Hampshire-based Old Farmer’s Almanac, which will be published next month, features a mix of corny jokes, gar-


dening tips, nostalgia and home remedies, like feeding carrots to dogs to help with bad breath and using mashed bananas to soothe dry, cracked skin in the winter. Also in this year’s edition, editor Peter Geiger is leading a campaign to get people to ditch the penny, like Canada is doing. Past campaigns have focused on moving Thanksgiving to harvest time in October, re-

considering “The Star-Spangled Banner” as the national anthem and changing the color of money. This time, Geiger thinks he has a winner. He wants people to donate pennies to charity and then lobby Congress to stop making them. “They don’t get used very much. They get tossed. The only real use of a penny is if you save tens of thousands of them, then you can use them to help someone,” he said.



A look into the 2013 NFC North season Associated Press

GREEN BAY PACKERS (12-6) NEW FACES: RB Eddie Lacy, DE Datone Jones, QB Vince Young, LT David Bakhtiari, DL Johnny Jolly, CB Micah Hyde, RB Johnathan Franklin. KEY LOSSES: WR Greg Jennings, S Charles Woodson, LT Bryan Bulaga. STRENGTHS: QB, WR, TE. WEAKNESSES: OL. EXPECTATIONS: Loss to 49ers in last year’s playoffs raised questions again about Packers’ defense. Then again, Green Bay does have Aaron Rodgers. The key, as always, is keeping Rodgers’ precious right shoulder off ground. He was sacked 51 times last year. Reconfigured line took serious blow when left tackle Bulaga (knee) went down in preseason camp. Bakhtiari, a rookie, now has task of protecting Rodgers’ blind side. With potential of grind-it-out running game with Lacy, third straight NFC North crown appears within reach. But can Packers protect Rodgers and buckle down on defense just enough to get past divisional round of playoffs?

MINNESOTA VIKINGS (10-7) NEW FACES: WR Greg Jennings, WR Cordarrelle Patterson, LB Desmond Bishop, DT Sharrif Floyd, CB Xavier Rhodes, P Jeff Locke, QB Matt Cassel. KEY LOSSES: WR Percy Harvin, CB Antoine Winfield, P Chris Kluwe, LB Jasper Brinkley. STRENGTHS: RB, DL, OL. WEAKNESSES: QB, CB. EXPECTATIONS: Vikings zoomed past projections last year with seven-win improvement and spot in playoffs, riding Adrian Peterson’s 2,097 yards rushing that earned him NFL MVP award. With quarterback Christian Ponder still largely unproven, skepticism of repeat in postseason abounds. With Jennings, Patterson and tight end Kyle Rudolph, Ponder will have better chance, even if Peterson proves he’s human and falls short of 2,000. Winfield might be harder to replace than Harvin, with cornerbacks Chris Cook, Josh Robinson and Rhodes tasked with defending NFC North’s talented passers.

take step back, with aging core players such as DE Julius Peppers, LB Lance Briggs, CB Charles Tillman in their 30s. Bushrod, Slauson should be major upgrades on left side of OL, but Bears could be going with rookies on right side in Long, RT Jordan Mills. Even with new additions, unit that ranked among league’s worst remains question mark. Still, Bears gave QB Jay Cutler upgraded line. He also has versatile TE and offense-oriented coach in Marc Trestman. But to many, Cutler’s out of excuses and possibly running out of time. Expiring contract and relationship with new coaching staff are two major story lines.

DETROIT LIONS (4-12) NEW FACES: RB Reggie Bush, S Glover Quin, DE Jason Jones, DE Ziggy Ansah, CB Darius Slay, DE Israel Idonije, K David Akers, RB Montell Owens, DT C.J. Mosley, OG Leroy Harris, OG Jake Scott. KEY LOSSES: OT Jeff Backus, OT Gosder Cherilus, OG Stephen Peterman, LB Justin Durant, DE Cliff Avril, DE Kyle Vanden Bosch, DE Lawrence Jackson, K Jason Hanson, WR Titus Young. STRENGTHS: DT, WR. WEAKNESSES: OL, CB. EXPECTATIONS: Detroit’s retooled defensive line with new ends (Ansah, Jones, Idonije) along with perhaps one of NFL’s best tandem of tackles (Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley) makes franchise’s bid to get back to playoffs a possibility. Quest becomes closer to reality if Matthew Stafford has time to connect with Calvin Johnson behind rebuilt offensive line with three new starters, and Reggie Bush has room to run. Jim Schwartz, entering fifth year as coach, stands to lose a lot if Detroit makes its 2011 postseason appearance look like fluke.

CHICAGO BEARS (10-6) NEW FACES: LT Jermon Bushrod, TE Martellus Bennett, G Matt Slauson, G Kyle Long, LB James Anderson, LB D.J. Williams. KEY LOSSES: LB Brian Urlacher, DE Israel Idonije, LB Nick Roach. STRENGTHS: RB, WR, DE, CB, special teams WEAKNESSES: OL. Aging defense. EXPECTATIONS: Five playoff misses past six seasons led to coach Lovie Smith’s firing. Offense appears better — or at least has potential to be better — but defense could

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Fall 2013 Sports Preview  
Fall 2013 Sports Preview