Pigskin Preview 2022

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2022 PIGSKIN PREVIEW Set your goals high, and don’t stop till you get there.

Wishing all area teams the best of luck this season! Play hard and have fun!

WWW.CHRISTIANSONCPA.COM Willmar • 320.235.5937 | Litchfield • 320.373.1040 | Paynesville • 320.235.5937


2 | WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 31, 2022

PIGSKIN PREVIEW

Good Luck to all our area High School Sports from all of us at

Thank you to our community minded businesses that brought you this section. To be a part of the Winter Sports Section Contact Christie @csteffel@wctrib.com before Friday, November 4th, 2022


PIGSKIN PREVIEW

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 31, 2022 | 3

WILLMAR CARDINALS

varsity football schedule 2022 Friday, Sep 2, 2022

7:00 PM����������������������������� St� Cloud Apollo Willmar - Hodapp Field @ Kennedy Elem�

Friday, Sep 9, 2022

7:00 PM�������������������������������������Hutchinson Willmar High School

Friday, Sep 16, 2022

7:00 PM��������������������������Away vs� Big Lake Big Lake High School

Friday, Sep 23, 2022

7:00 PM������������������������������Away vs� Sartell Sartell - Riverview Intermediate School

Friday, Sep 30, 2022

7:00 PM������������������������������������������� Delano Willmar - Hodapp Field @ Kennedy Elem�

Friday, Oct 7, 2022

7:00 PM�������������������������������������������� Rocori Willmar - Hodapp Field @ Kennedy Elem�

Friday, Oct 14, 2022

7:00 PM���������������� Away vs� Chisago Lakes Chisago Lakes High School

Wednesday, Oct 19, 2022 7:00 PM���������������������������� Away vs� Becker Becker High School Check the schools website for a updated events list

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PIGSKIN PREVIEW

4 | WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 31, 2022

WILLMAR

Cards pushed by power up front Experienced O-line, defensive seven to lead Willmar BY JOE BROWN West Central Tribune

WILLMAR — Whether it’s on offense or defense, the Willmar Cardinals look to be a bruising force this season. With the bulk of its returning starters on the defensive front seven and the offensive line, Willmar looks to elevate beyond its 6-3 mark in ‘21. “Lots of excitement surrounding the football team as the 2022 season approaches,” said Cardinals head coach Jon Konold, who is 67-60 going into his 13th season. “Staying healthy and hard work will have the Cardinals in the mix of the tough North Central White District.” Among the seven starters back in the lineup, three seniors — defensive end Jacob Flannigan (39 tackles, two sacks), linebacker Mattix Swanson (120 tackles,

Willmar’s Sam Raitz (right) catches a pass in stride past a Big Lake defender for a 33yard touchdown reception in the first quarter of a North Central White district game on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 at Hodapp Field in Willmar.

Where to find your team:

Page 3-4: Willmar Cardinals Page 5: New London-Spicer Wildcats Page 6: Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City Falcons Page 7: Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa Jaguars Page 8: Benson Braves Page 9: BOLD Warriors Page 10: Dawson-Boyd Blackjacks Page 11: Litchfield Dragons Page 12: Minnewaska Lakers Page 13: Montevideo Thunder Hawks Page 14: Paynesville Bulldogs Page 15: Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg Fighting Saints Page 16: Lac qui Parle Valley Eagles Page 17: MACCRAY Wolverines Page 18-19: Renville County West Jaguars Page 20: Yellow Medicine East Sting

2 fumble recoveries, 1 interception) and cornerback Jacob Streed (35 tackles) are anchors on the defensive side. “Jacob is one of the strongest players in Cardinal football history,” Konold said. “His work ethic in the weight room has carried over to the football field. Jacob’s strength and speed make him one of the top defensive ends in the district.” Konold added, “Mattix is always around the football making plays. His ability to diagnose plays and his game speed make him a top return in the district. … Whatever is asked of Jacob, he attacks the change with

unbelievable effort and positive attitude. In his third year of playing varsity football and every year, he has changed positions.” Helping to solidify the defensive front seven are defensive tackles Marlon Fernandez-Munoz and Maddox Bolstad along with defensive end Jon Ritz. Linebacker Jaxxon Sjoberg will also be a name to watch. Then on offense, a trio of juniors anchor the line in Hayden Venenga, Matthew Strey and Dylan Goblirsch. Drew Baumgarn, Noah Saue, Isaiah Iedema and Finley Donelan will compete for the final two starting spots. They’ll block for a

Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

new-look backfield that’ll try to replace quarterback Alex Schramm and running back Michael Price. Junior Cullen Gregory will replace Schramm at quarterback while another junior, Ramero Trevino, will take the lead back role. “This duo will look

to make the run game explosive this year,” Konold said. After hauling in 18 catches for 251 yards and five TDs last year, Sam Raitz is back for the third year at wideout while working with another breakout candidate in senior Justuce Gee. He’ll also

play safety on defense. “The sky’s the limit for Sam Raitz,” Konold said. “He’s one of the most dynamic athletes to come through Cardinal football.” The season begins at Hodapp Field on Friday, Sept. 2 against St. Cloud Apollo.

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WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 31, 2022 | 5

NEW LONDON-SPICER

Wildcats gearing up for another deep run NLS looks to repeat as Section 6AAA champs BY JOE BROWN West Central Tribune

NEW LONDON — Albeit in unconventional means, the 2021 New LondonSpicer Wildcats finished with a .500 record or better for the 16th straight season. That included a 3-5 regular season, followed by three straight wins to take the Section 6AAA championship and a berth in the Class AAA state tournament. Through whatever means, NLS will try to keep up that sustained success in 2022. “The ‘Cats have a

good blend of seniors and juniors and are trying to build depth at all positions that will allow them to play more players,” said second-year head coach Chad Gustafson. “Last year’s JV went 6-1 and we have a good blend of size, speed and strength that will help in battling through the toughest Class AAA district in the state.” The Wildcats have one of the area’s top players back in senior 6-foot-4, 190pound wide receiver/ defensive back Brycen Christensen. An allsection and all-district pick, Christensen had 62 receptions for 895 yards and 14 touchdowns. Five more seniors

West Central Tribune file photo

NLS Wildcats cornerback Brycen Christensen eyes the Royals’ quarterback in the red zone following the snap on Friday, Sept. 10, 2021 in New London.

return as starters: running back/ linebacker Gavin Degner; wideout/ defensive back/punter/ kicker Gabe Rohman; offensive lineman/

defensive end Luke Wosmek; center/ defensive tackle Brycen Bergh; and running back/linebacker Hunter Downey. Degner was an all-district selection.

Rohman was second on the team with 24 receptions for 352 yards and a pair of scores. He also was 36 of 38 in extra-point attempts.

Also back is junior running back/defensive back Mason Delzer. He was an all-section pick last season after leading NLS with 771 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. There will be plenty of options on offense to help the team’s new quarterback following the graduation of three-year starter Kyle Doty. Gustafson listed junior Grant Paffrath and sophomore Blake Schultz among the team’s options. “Our playmakers … should provide explosiveness with a nice-sized line,” Gustafson said. NLS begins the 2022 campaign on Thursday, Sept. 1 at home against St. Cloud Cathedral.

NLS WILDCATS

varsity football schedule 2022 Thursday, Sept 1, 2022 7:00 PM.... Home vs. St. Cloud Cathedral

Friday, Sept 9, 2022 7:00 PM.... Away vs. Watertown-Mayer - Watertown-Mayer High School

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7:00 PM.... Home vs. Holy Family Catholic High School

Friday, Sept 23, 2022 7:00 PM.... Away vs. Annandale - Annandale High School

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Friday, Oct 7, 2022 7:00 PM.... Away vs. Milaca - Milaca High School

Friday, Oct 14, 2022 7:00 PM.... Away vs. Glencoe-Silver Lake - Glencoe-Silver Lake High School

Wednesday, Oct 19, 2022 7:00 PM.......................Home vs. Dassel-Cokato

Check the schools website for an updated events list

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PIGSKIN PREVIEW

6 | WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 31, 2022

ATWATER-COSMOS-GROVE CITY

ACGC aims for improvement Falcons hope to better last year’s 3-6 season with a mix of veterans and newcomers BY TOM ELLIOTT West Central Tribune

GROVE CITY — The Atwater-CosmosGrove City Falcons are working with five returning defensive starters and three on offense as they embark on the 2022 season. They’ll be the nucleus of a 2021 team that went 3-6, earning victories over Long Prairie-Grey Eagle (34-16), Maple Lake (62-14) and Benson (42-6). Head coach David Bloom begins his ninth season with a 32-41 career record. He and assistants Brade Nelson, Trever Heining

and Dylan Hoerschler are working to help the Falcons improve. Returning defensively is senior linebacker Terrel Renne, senior defensive backs Keegan Kessler-Gross and Jacob Gratz and junior linebackers Isiah Renne and Jevon Willaims. Also back is sophomore safety Jaxon LeyendeckerDrange. “Jevon Williams is a player that never takes a day off (and is) always looking for a way to improve,” Blom said. Renne had 19 solo and 24 assisted tackles, including seven tackles

for loss. Kessler-Gross had six solo and three assisted tackles with two interceptions returned 56 yards. Gratz had 18 solo and six assisted tackles with 17 pass breakups. Williams had 11 solo and five assisted tackles, including one tackle for loss. Leyendecker-Drange had two interceptions returned 27 yards. Offensive returnees are senior tight end Carson Borchert, senior offensive lineman Brent Johnson and Renne at running back. Renne rushed 35 times for 101 yards and one touchdown. Leyendecker-Drange

Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

The ACGC defense brings down BOLD’s David Garcia during a Week 1 game on Friday, Sept. 3, 2021 at Olivia. caught four passes for 29 yards in a backup role. Players to watch include Williams, Gratz and junior quarterback Kyler Pickle. “Kyler and Jacob both have put the time in the weight room to get stronger,” Blom said. “All three of these

players will help carry the load for the team this year.” Pickle threw 55 passes, completing 15 for 165 yards and one touchdown with three interceptions. ACGC opens with a young-but-experienced BOLD squad at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 2 at ACGC.

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ACGC FALCONS

varsity football schedule 2022 Friday, Sep 2, 2022

Friday, Oct 14, 2022

7:00 PM�������������������������������������������������������� B�O�L�D� ACGC High School

7:00 PM�������������������������������������������������������������� KMS ACGC High School

Friday, Sep 9, 2022

Wednesday, Oct 19, 2022

7:00 PM�����������������������������������Away vs� Kimball Area Kimball High School

Friday, Sep 16, 2022

7:00 PM��������������������������������Long Prairie-Grey Eagle ACGC High School

Friday, Sep 23, 2022

7:00 PM��������������������������������������������������� Maple Lake ACGC High School

Friday, Sep 30, 2022

7:00 PM������������������������������������������������Away vs� USA Swanville High School

Friday, Oct 7, 2022

7:00 PM���������������Away vs� Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa High School

7:00 PM������������������������������������������ Away vs� Benson Benson High School

Tuesday, Oct 25, 2022

7:00 PM���������������������������������������������������������������TBD High Seed

Saturday, Oct 29, 2022

7:00 PM���������������������������������������������������������������TBD High Seed

Friday, Nov 4, 2022

7:00 PM���������������������������������������������������������������TBD St John’s University - Gagliardi Field and Skalicky Seasonal Dome Check the schools website for a updated events list

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PIGSKIN PREVIEW

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 31, 2022 | 7

BELGRADE-BROOTEN-ELROSA

BBE hopes to keep the party rolling The Jaguars have 15 letterwinners back from their first state playoff team BY TOM ELLIOTT West Central Tribune

BELGRADE — To say the 2021 season felt good for BelgradeBrooten-Elrosa is to understate. It was the best football season in school history. “It was crazy,” head coach Chris Moscho said. BBE qualified for the state playoffs for the first time since the Belgrade and Brooten school districts merged in 1989. The Jaguars posted an 8-4 record, winning the Section 4A championship by beating Upsala/ Swanville Area 52-44 in the championship game. They then fell 18-6 to RushfordPeterson in the state Class A quarterfinal at Crown College. For a school known for its basketball and wrestling, it was a satisfying season. And while most of last season’s team has moved on, the Jaguars have hope that 2022 will be a promising one. They have the most players out in recent memory, 42. “I think that’s all the helmets we have,” said Moscho, who is in his 14th season. They also return starting quarterback Luke Dingmann. The strong-armed junior took over in ‘21 when his brother Ashton Dingmann was hurt. He’ll have one of

the top targets in Mid State Sub District 3 in Jameson Reed. Reed is 6-foot-5 wide receiver who also plays defensive end. Moscho said that college scouts are interested. Also back is Ethan Spanier, a returning defensive end and center. Dingmann, Reed and Spanier are captains. They’ll lead a squad that has 15 returning letterwinners after having lost 13 seniors from the memorable 2021 season. “We’ll have a young line, but at least we know we won’t have to go two ways,” Moscho said. “We have a lot of kids to work with.” Moscho said the program’s success has encouraged a lot of players to try out who were reluctant to play when they were younger. For the Jaguars’ coaching staff, catching that group up and getting them ready for varsity will be the challenge. The Jaguars open at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 2 at Kerkhoven-MurdockSunburg. KMS figures to be one of the top teams in the sub district, Moscho said. He’s also anticipating Atwater-CosmosGrove City, USA and BOLD to be among the strongest teams on their schedule. “It’ll be fun,” he said.

BelgradeBrooten-Elrosa sophomore quarterback Luke Dingmann attempts a pass against KerkhovenMurdock-Sunburg on Friday, Sept. 3, 2021 in Belgrade. West Central Tribune file photo

Go BBE JAGUAR Athletes! Make this your best season ever!

BBE JAQUARS

Varsity Football Schedule 2022 FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 2ND 7pm Away Vs. KMS KMS Elementary School - Murdock

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 9TH 7pm Home Vs. Maple Lake

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Our Mission is to create a safe and caring climate & culture in which we prepare, engage, educate, empower, and inspire all learners in partnership with their surrounding community to be successful in today’s and tomorrow’s society.

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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 16TH 7pm Home Vs. Benson FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 23RD 7pm Away Vs. USA Upsala High School

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30TH 7pm Away Vs. Long Prairie-Grey Eagle Long Prairie-Grey Eagle High School

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 7TH 7pm Home Vs. ACGC FRIDAY, OCTOBER 14TH 7pm Away vs. Browerville-Eagle Valley Browerville High School

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 19TH 7pm Home Vs. BOLD

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8 | WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 31, 2022

PIGSKIN PREVIEW BENSON

Benson’s power trio will lead the way Dineen, Tolifson and Espinoza figure to propel the Braves’ offense BY MICHAEL LYNE West Central Tribune

BENSON — After a 3-6 season with a loss in the opening round of the Section 4A playoffs, Braves head coach Adam Foslien and company will compete in a tough Mid State Blue Sub District once again in ‘22. Benson is led by West Central Tribune AllArea and All-District team member and fouryear starter Thomas Dineen.

Benson quarterback Ryan Tolifson gets rid of the ball during the 2021 season. Photos by Joe Brown/West Central Tribune

A senior running back and defensive end, Dineen tallied 1,220 yards and 12 touchdowns on 198 carries. He also had 34 tackles, 4-1/2 sacks and 5-1/2 tackles for loss in ‘21. No one has more career rushing yards (2,503), career tackles for loss (20) and career sacks (18) than Dineen. The Braves’ offense will have its trio of power in ‘22. Alongside Dineen, senior quarterback/defensive back Ryan Tolifson and senior wide receiver/ defensive back Juan Espinoza are back. Tolifson threw for 610 yards and five touchdowns. He ran

for 227 yards and six touchdowns. “These three will be a large part of our offense and defense,” Foslien said. “We have installed some new schematic things to utilize their athletic abilities and allow them to be the biggest threats possible.” Benson has nine newcomers to its lineup in ‘22. All nine saw some varsity experience in ‘21, but will all have increased roles this season. Each player will look to make an impact, both offensively and defensively for the Braves. “The Braves football team is one that lacks experience and

depth, but is a group of guys who dedicated themselves in the offseason in the weight room. Hopefully that carries us in the season,” Foslien said. “Our district and section are absolutely loaded.” Benson hosts Kimball at 7 p.m. Sept. 2 to begin its ‘22 campaign.

Benson running back Thomas Dineen prepares to grab the ball in a game last season.

Benson Braves

varsity football schedule 2022 Friday, Sep 2, 2022

7:00 PM �������������Home vs� Kimball Area Benson High School

Friday, Sep 9, 2022

7:00 PM ����������� Long Prairie-Grey Eagle Long Prairie-Grey Eagle High School

Friday, Sep 16, 2022

7:00 PM ���������Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa BBE High School; Brooten

Friday, Sep 23, 2022

7:00 PM �����������Browerville-Eagle Valley Benson High School

Friday, Sep 30, 2022

7:00 PM ������������������������������������������ KMS Benson High School

Friday, Oct 7, 2022

7:00 PM ������������������������������������ B�O�L�D� BOLD HS Olivia

Friday, Oct 14, 2022

7:00 PM ������������������������������� Maple Lake Maple Lake High School

Wednesday, Oct 19, 2022

7:00 PM ������������������������������������ B�O�L�D� Benson High School

Check the school’s website for an updated events list

Schedule sponsored by: BENSON PUBLIC SCHOOLS www.benson.k12.mn.us 320-843-2710

Best of Luck to the 2022 Braves Football Team! Benson Public Schools 1400 Montana Ave. Benson, MN 56215 • www.benson.k12.mn.us • 320-843-2710


PIGSKIN PREVIEW

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 31, 2022 | 9

BOLD

Strong nucleus returns for Warriors Three all-district players return for BOLD BY JOE BROWN West Central Tribune

OLIVIA — The BOLD football team went through a bit of a youth movement in 2021. That didn’t stop the Warriors from their usual degree of success with a 9-2 record and a spot in the Section 5A championship. With the team a year older — and with three all-district players back in the fold — BOLD expects that success to continue in 2022. “We have a strong nucleus back,” said Warriors head coach Derek Flann. “We have some offensive linemen to replace and a lot of

speed on defense to try to replace. Our senior leadership was really good last year and we will need guys to step into those roles from day one.” Among the Warriors’ top returners is sophomore running back/safety Hudson Vosika. The Mid State Sub-District 3 Back of the Year in ‘21, Vosika ran for 1,952 yards and 24 touchdowns and also hauled in 11 catches for 187 yards and a score. “He had a great freshman season, totaling almost 2,000 yards rushing,” Flann said of Vosika. “He will play more on defense this year. Any time he gets the ball in his hands, good things tend to happen for us.” Junior guard/ linebacker Tate Sheehan

and sophomore guard/ defensive tackle Owen Flann are back as alldistrict selections. Senior Stevie McMath also returns at cornerback and tight end after being named all-district honorable mention. Other returning starters include sophomore quarterback Jack Gross, junior fullback/linebacker Austin Kiecker and senior wideout Ryan King. “(Ryan’s) a great natural athlete that really came into his own late last year,” said Flann. King had 29 receptions for 698 yards and six TDs. “He had big games in 2021 against some of our toughest competition.” BOLD begins the ‘22 campaign on Friday,

Photos by Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

BOLD’s Hudson Vosika (11) follows lead blocker Owen Flann during the first quarter of a Week 1 game against ACGC on Friday, Sept. 3, 2021 at Olivia. Sept. 2 in Grove City against AtwaterCosmos-Grove City. “We are going to be young again this

year, but some of these young guys have a year under their belts now and we are excited to see what they can do,”

Flann said. “We hope to be able to compete with the teams at the top of our district and our section this year.”

BOLD WARRIORS

varsity football schedule 2022 Friday, Sep 2, 2022 7:00 PM....Away vs. Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City ACGC High School

Friday, Sep 9, 2022

7:00 PM....Upsala - Bold HS Olivia Campus

Friday, Sep 16, 2022

7:00 PM....Away vs. Browerville-Eagle Valley Browerville High School

BOLD’s Stevie McMath (8) runs onto the field during pre-game introductions prior to a Week 1 game against ACGC on Friday, Sept. 3, 2021 at Olivia.

Friday, Sep 23, 2022

7:00 PM....KMS - Bold HS Olivia Campus

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7:00 PM....Benson - Bold HS Olivia Campus Check the schools website for a updated events list

Friday, Oct 14, 2022

7:00 PM....Kimball Area - Bold HS Olivia Campus

Wednesday, Oct 19, 2022

7:00 PM....Away vs. Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa BBE High School Schedule sponsored by:

West Central Tribune www.wctrib.com To Subscribe call 320-235-1154


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10 | WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 31, 2022

DAWSON-BOYD

Blackjacks have a strong senior class Led by the dynamic duo of Holt Larson and Levi Olson, Dawson-Boyd expects another strong season BY MICHAEL LYNE West Central Tribune

DAWSON — Entering his 21st season at the helm of the DawsonBoyd program, Cory Larson’s Blackjacks are returning six starters to both sides of the ball from a team that finished with a 7-3 record in ‘21. Senior running backs

Holt Larson and Levi Olson accounted for over 90% of Dawson-Boyd’s carries in ‘21. The duo will look to build on their performances from their junior campaigns. Larson averaged 127.1 yards per game on 168 carries and 1,144 yards, scoring 17 touchdowns. He also had one reception for 29 yards. Serving as Larson’s backup, Olson tallied 252 yards on 56 carries. He recorded three touchdowns on 4.50 yards per carry. Senior wide receiver Aiden Swenson also returns to a receiving corps that had 13

touchdowns in ‘21. Swenson tallied 331 yards and three touchdowns on 20 catches. “We bring back a group of nine seniors that have played big roles and have provided a lot of depth for us over the last couple of years,” Larson said. “We will definitely rely on the nine seniors to control the line of scrimmage.” Two key losses in production for the Dawson-Boyd are Braxton and Brayden Hahn. Braxton led the team defensively with 47 tackles and tied for

a team-high three interceptions, adding one fumble recovery. He also recorded 238 yards and four touchdowns on 18 receptions. Brayden was DawsonBoyd’s quarterback. He threw for 1,244 yards and 12 touchdowns on 82 completions. He also tallied 205 rushing

yards and five rushing touchdowns on 46 carries. Drew Hjelmeland served as Brayden’s backup in ‘21, where he completed one pass for an 18-yard touchdown. “Overall, we should compete each week, but we will need to stay healthy,” Larson

said. “Our depth will be an issue. We will need some freshmen and sophomores to provide some depth as our junior class has only four participants.” The Blackjacks kick off their ‘22 campaign at 4 p.m. Sept. 1 at Minnesota Valley Lutheran.

DAWSON BOYD BLACKJACKS varsity football schedule 2022 Thursday, Sep 1, 2022

4:00 PM Away vs. Minnesota Valley Lutheran Johnson Field-New Ulm

Friday, Sep 9, 2022 7:00 PM Home vs. Canby Dawson Boyd High School

Friday, Sep 16, 2022

7:00 PM Away vs. Yellow Medicine East Yellow Medicine East High School

Friday, Sep 23, 2022

7:00 PM Home vs. Lac Qui Parle Valley Dawson Boyd High School

Friday, Sep 30, 2022

7:00 PM Away vs. Lakeview Willmar - Hodapp Field @ Kennedy Elem.

Friday, Oct 7, 2022

7:00 PM Home vs. Russell-Tyler-Ruthton Dawson Boyd High School

Friday, Oct 14, 2022

7:00 PM Away vs. MACCRAY MACCRAY Public Schools, Maynard

Wednesday, Oct 19, 2022 Joe Brown/West Central Tribune

Dawson-Boyd junior Holt Larson (15) outruns a MACCRAY defender during a Southwest West district game oct. 14, 2021 at R.B. Clay Field in Dawson.

7:00 PM Home vs. Minneota Dawson Boyd High School

Check the schools website for a updated events list Schedule sponsored by:

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Good Luck to all Blackjacks athletics & students in 2022! dawson-boyd blackjacks - IDS 378 • sites.google.com/dwby.k12.mn.us/isd378 • 320.769.2955


PIGSKIN PREVIEW

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 31, 2022 | 11

LITCHFIELD

Dragons’ success hinges on new faces Dietel, Christensen to anchor Litchfield up front senior Bradley Larson (5-11, 185). West Central Tribune The returning trio LITCHFIELD — With will be joined on the winning records in defensive line by senior each of the last two Chase Housman. seasons, the Litchfield Junior Lukas Kuehl Dragons hope to keep is another two-way that formula together starter back in the in 2022. fold for the Dragons. In order to do that, At 5-11 and 175, he is the Dragons will have a running back and to find success with linebacker. He ran for new faces, with just 1,068 yards and 10 four starters returning Thursday, Septouchdowns 1, 2022 on offense on 4:00 eachPM side of the ball. Away vs. Minnesota Valley Lutheran and added 42 tackles “Many new youngField-New Ulm Johnson on defense. Kuehl was men will step into new an2022 All-East Central Friday, Sep 9, roles,” said Litchfield CanbyDistrict honorable head coach 7:00 Jim PM Home vs.South mention Dawson Boyd High School and an AllJackman, who enters District Academic team his 10thFriday, season. Sep 16, 2022 selection. “(We) lost a great 7:00 PM Away vs. Yellow Medicine East OnSchool offense, another group ofYellow seniors.” Medicine East High junior looks for an In the trenches, Sep 23, 2022role in the increased juniors Friday, Jacob Dietel of 70 on PATs and 5 of 7:00 PM Home vs. Lac Qui Valley 6-1Parle Blake Aller. Adding and TJ Christensen 7 on field goals. He has Dawson Boyd High School some depth to wideout both return as linemen averaged 32.5 yards on is junior Jack McCann. Sep 30, 2022 on bothFriday, offense and 29 punts. Litchfield will also 7:00 PM Away vs. Lakeview defense. Dietel is 6-foot Over the last two Willmar - Hodapp Field @ get Kennedy Elem. a boost on special and 235 pounds while seasons, the Dragons with junior Christensen is at 6-2 Friday, Oct 7,teams 2022 Check the schools website have a 13-5 record.for kicker/punter Garrison and 195. bevs. Russell-Tyler-Ruthton 7:00 They’ll PM Home a updated events list 2022 Litchfield begins Jackman. joined on the defensive Dawson Boyd High School The team’s on Thursday, 1 at kicker over the last twoSchedule line by another sponsored Sept. by: Friday, Oct 14, 2022 returning starter in home against Milaca. seasons, Jackman is 58

Litchfield’s Jacob Dietel (71) and TJ Christensen (78) chase St. Cloud Cathedral’s Jordan Schumann during a Week 4 game on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021 at Litchfield.

BY JOE BROWN

Photos by Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

DAWSON BOYD BLACKJACKS varsity football schedule 2022

7:00 PM Away vs. MACCRAY MACCRAY Public Schools, Maynard

Wednesday, Oct 19, 2022 7:00 PM Home vs. Minneota Dawson Boyd High School

DAWSON BOYD SCHOOL sites.google.com/dwby.k12. mn.us/isd378/high-school 848 Chestnut St. Dawson, MN 320-769-2955

BEST OF LUCK to the ACGC Falcons & to the Litchfield Dragons for a winning season! Main Office 1025 E. Frontage Rd. Litchfield, MN 55355 320.693.2821 Atwater Location 16319 Hwy. 12 NE Atwater, MN 56209 320.974.8868 Litchfield Location 511 Polydome Dr. Litchfield, MN 55355 320.693.6014

LITCHFIELD DRAGONS

varsity football schedule 2022 Thursday, Sep 1, 2022

Friday, Oct 7, 2022

7:00 PM................................Milaca Litchfield High School Football Field/Track Facility

7:00 PM............. Watertown-Mayer Litchfield High School Football Field/Track Facility

Friday, Sep 9, 2022

Tuesday, Oct 11, 2022

7:00 PM......... Away vs. Holy Family Holy Family

7:00 PM. Away vs. Multiple Schools Various Sites

Friday, Sep 16, 2022

Friday, Oct 14, 2022

7:00 PM.......... Glencoe-Silver Lake Litchfield High School Football Field/Track Facility

7:00 PM....Away vs. Dassel-Cokato Dassel-Cokato High School

Wednesday, Oct 19, 2022

Friday, Sep 23, 2022

7:00 PM......................... Annandale Litchfield High School Football Field/Track Facility

Good Luck to all Blackjacks athletics & students in 2022! 7:00 PM......... Away vs. Saint Cloud Cathedral St. Johns University, Collegeville, MN

Friday, Sep 30, 2022

7:00 PM....................Away vs. New London-Spicer New London-Spicer High School Football Game Field

Sponsored by

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The Litchfield defense shows blitz during a Week 4 game against St. Cloud Cathedral on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021 at Litchfield.

Check the schools website for a updated events list


PIGSKIN PREVIEW

12 | WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 31, 2022

MINNEWASKA

Lyle takes Lakers’ reins New head coach aims to improve Minnewaska’s 1-8 record BY JOE BROWN West Central Tribune

GLENWOOD — Under new head coach Jared Lyle, the Minnewaska Lakers are looking to leap up the Mid State district standings. The Lakers finished 1-8 in 2021. Lyle replaces Jeremy Christensen, who led Minnewaska for six seasons. Hoping to make a leap in 2022, the Lakers have high hopes for senior quarterback/ linebacker PJ Johnson. “PJ is an exceptional athlete that will be at QB this year,” Lyle

said. “He is a fantastic player and leader. “PJ will be protected by a fantastic group of Brady Blair, Jack Larson and Chase Boelke.” Those three are all returning offensive linemen. Larson is 5-foot-10 and 170 pounds, and also plays linebacker. Boekle (5-10, 190) and Blair (6-1, 260) will also see time on the defensive line. Another senior back in the fray for Minnewaska is 5-foot9 senior wide receiver/ defensive back Connor Stein.

“Connor Stein has had a great offseason in the weight room and is set to have a great year at wide receiver,” Lyle said. A pair of juniors could see time at running back in Jack Majerus (5-8, 145) and Austin Weber (5-8, 150). Majerus also plays defensive back and Weber is an outside linebacker. Minnewaska’s hopes for a turnaround begin on the road on Thursday, Sept. 1 at Royalton. The Lakers’ first home game is Friday, Sept. 9 against Pierz.

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West Central Tribune file photo

Minnewaska defensive back Connor Stein watches the Montevideo offense following the snap of the football on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021 in Glenwood.

MINNEWASKA LAKERS

varsity football schedule 2022 Thursday, Sep 1, 2022

7:00 PM....Away vs. Royalton Royalton High School

Friday, Sep 9, 2022

7:00 PM....Pierz - Minnewaska Area High School Veterans Field at Glenwood State Bank Stadium

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Friday, Sep 16, 2022

Willmar - Clara City Appleton - Dawson

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7:00 PM....Melrose Area - Minnewaska Area High School Veterans Field at Glenwood State Bank Stadium

Friday, Sep 23, 2022 7:00 PM....Away vs. Montevideo Montevideo High School

Friday, Sep 30, 2022

7:00 PM....Rockford Area - Minnewaska Area High School Veterans Field at Glenwood State Bank Stadium

Friday, Oct 7, 2022

7:00 PM....Away vs. Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta University of Minnesota-Morris - Big Cat Stadium

Friday, Oct 14, 2022

7:00 PM....Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted - Minnewaska Area High School Veterans Field at Glenwood State Bank Stadium

Check the schools website for a updated events list www.minnewaska.k12.mn.us

www.wctrib.com

Wednesday, Oct 19, 2022 7:00 PM....Away vs. Eden Valley-Watkins Eden Valley-Watkins High School

Schedule sponsored by:

West Central Tribune www.wctrib.com To Subscribe call 320-235-1154


PIGSKIN PREVIEW

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 31, 2022 | 13

MONTEVIDEO

Thunder Hawks hungry for success O’Malley a focus for Montevideo’s season BY JOE BROWN West Central Tribune

MONTEVIDEO — Needing to replace 12 seniors from a year ago, the Montevideo Thunder Hawks know they’ll be a young squad in 2022. But in that youth, there is a squad eager for success after going 1-8 last season. “There is no doubt that we are a young team with not a lot of experience,” said Montevideo head coach Dave Vik, who returns to the head role after a two-year hiatus. “However, these kids are hungry, willing to learn and willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. We have exceptional leadership in the upper classes and excitement with the less experienced.” There are three returning starters for the Thunder Hawks, led by junior running back/linebacker Francis O’Malley. In ‘21, O’Malley ran for 1,078 yards while also leading the team with 81 tackles. Two seniors — Mason Jerve and Greyson Eisenlohr — return to

the trenches. Jerve is on both the offensive and defensive lines while Eisenlohr is a defensive lineman. Jerve had 2-1/2 sacks and 9-1/2 tackles for loss last season. “He’s a fierce defensive end,” Vik said of Jerve. A pair of seniors that Vik is hoping for an impact from are Fox Huber and Ethan Moravetz “(Fox) spot played last season as a junior but has put the time and effort in the weight room to become an impact player,” Vik said. “(Ethan) started seeing more time at the end of last season. He has transformed into a hard-nosed athlete that will be a differencemaker on both sides of the ball.” Junior Cooper Dack will take over at quarterback and is “very agile and has good vision down field” according to Vik. Another junior, wide receiver Devin Ashling, is expected to play a big role for Montevideo in his first varsity action. And after missing ‘21 with an injury, sophomore Landon Olson will see time at

West Central Tribune file photo

Montevideo’s Francis O’Malley was the leading rusher on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021 in Glenwood against Minnewaska with 255 yards and four touchdowns on 30 attempts.

MONTEVIDEO THUNDERHAWKS

varsity football schedule 2022 Friday, Sept. 2nd 7:00 PM Away Vs. Sauk Centre @ Sauk Centre High School

Friday, Sept. 9th

7:00 PM Home Vs. Morris Area

inside linebacker and at running back. The Thunder Hawks head to Sauk Centre for the season opener on Friday, Sept. 2. The home opener is on Friday, Sept. 9 against Morris/Chokio-Alberta.

Friday, Sept.16th

7:00 PM Away Vs. Pierz @ Pierz High School

Friday, Sept. 23rd

7:00 PM Home Vs. Minnewaska Area

Friday, Sept. 30th

7:00 PM Home Vs. Melrose

Friday, Oct 7th

7:00 PM Away Vs. Rockford @ Rockford High School

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Check the school’s website for a updated events list www.montevideoschools.org/o/mhs

Friday, Oct 14th

7:00 PM Home Vs. Holdingford

Wednesday, Oct 19th

7:00 PM Away Vs. Paynesville @ Paynesville Area High School

Schedule sponsored by:

FM Bank www.mybankfm.com/


14 | WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 31, 2022

PIGSKIN PREVIEW PAYNESVILLE

Bulldogs will have a new look, familiar toughness Paynesville’s new coach Tim Pattrin has a team full of veterans BY TOM ELLIOTT West Central Tribune

PAYNESVILLE — Tim Pattrin takes over at Paynesville after 12 seasons at BrandonEvansville, where he posted a 60-52 career record. He replaces Max Meagher, who resigned after last year’s team went 7-3, losing to Royalton 33-22 in the Section 5AA semifinals. Meagher is arguably the most successful football coach in school history, leading the Bulldogs to state playoff appearances in 2011, ‘17, ‘18 and ‘19. But he didn’t leave the cupboard bare. Paynesville returns eight starters on offense and eight on defense. “We have a good nucleus of players with experience,” Pattrin said. “They have picked

up the systems quickly over the summer and we’re looking forward to a good year.” Starters back include Grayson Fuchs (Sr., QB/DB); Spencer Eisenbraun (Sr., OL/ DL); Eli Nelson (Sr., WR/DB); Max Athmann (Sr., WR/LB); Carter Lieser (Sr., WR/DB); Aaron Mages (Sr., OL/ DL); Gus Johnson (Sr., WR/DB); and Austin Pauls (Sr., RB/LB). “Grayson Fuchs is an explosive player both running the ball and throwing it,” Pattrin said. Fuchs could be one of the top quarterbacks in the west central area. “Spencer Eisenbraun is a big, strong and aggressive lineman on both sides of the ball,” Pattrin said. Another player to watch is Nelson. “Eli Nelson is a fast and shifty player that is explosive with the ball in his hands,” Pattrin said. There is some carryover with the coaching staff. Ron Fuchs, Chad Campbell, and Ben Borgerding all return. Bryce Savage

Photos by Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

Paynesville junior Eli Nelson runs out onto the field during pre-game introductions during a Mid State district game against Royalton On Oct. 1, 2021 at Paynesville. joins them. Pattrin is putting in his own schemes, so the Bulldogs will have a different look. They hope to continue the tradition of strong football teams, regardless of systems. They open on Friday, Sept. 2 at home against Melrose.

PAYNESVILLE BULLDOGS varsity football schedule 2022

Friday, Sep 2, 2022 7:00 PM....Melrose Area - Paynesville Area High School

Friday, Sep 9, 2022

7:00 PM....Away vs. Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted Howard Lake Waverly-Winsted High School

Friday, Sep 16, 2022

7:00 PM....Sauk Centre - Paynesville Area High School

The Paynesville defense wraps up Royalton’s Connor Carlson (22) during the first quarter of a Mid State district game Oct. 1, 2021 at Paynesville

Friday, Sep 23, 2022

7:00 PM....Away vs. Eden Valley-Watkins Eden Valley Baseball Park

Friday, Sep 30, 2022

7:00 PM....Away vs. Royalton High School Royalton High School

Friday, Oct 7, 2022

7:00 PM....Holdingford - Paynesville Area High School Check the schools website for a updated events list www.paynesvilleschools.com

Friday, Oct 14, 2022 7:00 PM....Away vs. Morris Area Morris Area School - Big Cat Stadium

Wednesday, Oct 19, 2022

7:00 PM....Montevideo - Paynesville Area High School Schedule sponsored by:

Christianson PLLP www.christiansoncpa.com/ 212 W James St #200, Paynesville


PIGSKIN PREVIEW

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 31, 2022 | 15

KERKHOVEN-MURDOCK-SUNBURG

Fighting Saints look to bounce back KMS is banking on 10 returning starters for a brighter 2022 season BY MICHAEL LYNE West Central Tribune

MURDOCK — Kerkhoven-MurdockSunburg will look to bounce back after a lackluster 2-6 record in Mid State Blue SubDistrict play in ‘21. The Fighting Saints return 10 starters to their lineup between offense and defense, including all-district and all-section senior tight end/linebacker Isaac Rudningen. Rudningen led KMS’ defense with 113 tackles and three interceptions, adding one sack and a forced fumble. He also led the Fighting Saints in receptions (48) and yards (753), tying running back Hunter Kallstrom for a team-high six receiving touchdowns. Kallstrom led the

team with 10 sacks and two forced fumbles, tallying 70 tackles on defense. Two players to watch that were not in the Fighting Saints’ lineup in ‘21 are senior Chase Magaard, who makes his return from injury, and senior Jaiden Henjum, who did not play football last season. “Chase has gotten taller, faster and stronger. He is a great athlete and a great tackler,” KMS fourthyear head coach Jason Fernholz said. ”Jaiden is a piece we have been missing, especially in the secondary. He is explosive with good hands and will make an impact on offense.” A key loss in their lineup in ‘22 is Alex Call. He was the

Fighting Saints’ starting quarterback and had 18 tackles and one fumble recovery in ‘21. Junior Jared Cortez will be the Fighting Saints’ quarterback in ‘22. He threw for 840 yards, six touchdowns and five interceptions on 63 completions. He also recorded 303 receiving yards on 25 catches and ran for two touchdowns on 25 carries. “I feel like we will be unpredictable and teams will have difficulty matching up with our speed and athleticism,” Fernholz said. “Our run defense and run offense need to improve significantly heading into this year.” The Fighting Saints host the BelgradeBrooten-Elrosa Jaguars at 7 p.m. Sept. 2.

West Central Tribune file photos

KMS junior Isaac Rudningen looks for a pass as he is defended by BBE’s Blaine Fischer on Friday, Sept. 3, 2021, at Belgrade. West Central Tribune file photo.

KMS FIGHTING SAINTS

varsity football schedule 2022 Friday, Sep 2, 2022 7:00 PM....Home vs. Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa

Friday, Sep 9, 2022 7:00 PM....Away vs. Browerville Browerville High School

Friday, Sep 16, 2022

7:00 PM....Home vs. USA

Friday, Sep 23, 2022 7:00 PM....Away vs. B.O.L.D. B.O.L.D. High School, Olivia

Friday, Sep 30, 2022 7:00 PM....Away vs. Benson Benson High School

Friday, Oct 7, 2022 7:00 PM....Home vs. Kimball Area

Friday, Oct 14, 2022 7:00 PM....Away vs. ACGC ACGC High School

Check the schools website for a updated events list www.kms.k12.mn.us/

Wednesday, Oct 19, 2022

7:00 PM....Home vs. Long Prairie-Grey Eagle Schedule sponsored by:

Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg ninth-grader Jett Olson rushes the ball with the assist of sophomore Malaki Lee against the Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa Jaguars on Friday, Sept. 3, 2021, in Belgrade.

West Central Tribune www.wctrib.com To Subscribe call 320-235-1154


16 | WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 31, 2022

PIGSKIN PREVIEW LAC QUI PARLE VALLEY

LQPV will be a young team Eagles have six seniors on a squad that went 3-6 last season BY TOM ELLIOTT West Central Tribune

MADISON — Lac qui Parle Valley head coach Tony Smith begins his sixth season as Lac qui Parle Valley’s head coach with a young, unproven team. “We are going to be young and don’t have a lot of experience returning from last year,” said Smith, who has a 19-26 career record and whose coaching staff includes Josh Benson, Mark Bjornjeld, Paul Lowry and Mike Weick. “This group will need to learn, grow and gain confidence from their experiences.” LQPV went 3-6 last season. The Eagles beat MACCRAY 33-22,

Yellow Medicine East 14-6 and Canby 19-6. Losses were to TracyMilroy-Balaton (3813), Minneota (61-0), Dawson-Boyd (508), Lakeview (28-21) and Russell-TylerRuthton (25-0) during the regular season. Dawson-Boyd then beat LQPV 20-13 in the Section 5A playoffs at Dawson. There are six seniors on the roster. They are: Jacob Bringle, Levi Hanson, Aidan Lewis (6-0, 170), Alexander Lewis (6-0, 165), Ethan Schommer (6-0, 150) and Damian Torres (5-10, 125). There are five juniors: Cael Benson, T.J. Mitchell (6-4, 175), Kaden Molden (6-4, 235), Kaden Mortenson (6-1, 225) and Petyon Rademacher (5-10, 160). Eleven sophomores may contribute. They are: Brock Bjornjeld (5-9, 175), Cole Bjornson (5-10, 130),

Drew Borstad (5-9, 155), Bradyn Danziesen (5-9, 170), Tyler Erp (5-8, 155), Dylan Keimig (5-2, 115), Kayden Kessler (5-8, 150), Noah Meyer (5-8, 150), Davis Patzer (5-10, 140), Landon Weber and Blake Wells. There are also 11 freshmen out for football. Molden was LQPV’s quarterback last year. He’s big and strong and will be looked upon to lead the offense. “I coach to encourage and promote excellence in each student athlete,” Smith says is his purpose statement. “I want to help people develop an energy and a drive to be the best. My hope is that I make them a good teammate and a better person.” LQPV opens the season at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 1 against Tracy-MilroyBalaton at Madison.

Photos by Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

LQPV sophomore Kaden Molden (15) throws the ball during the first quarter of a Southwest West district game against Canby on Oct. 8, 2021 at Madison.

LQPV Eagles

varsity football schedule 2022 Thursday, Sep 1, 2022

7:00 PM...........Tracy-Milroy-Balaton - Lac qui Parle Valley High School

Friday, Sep 9, 2022

7:00 PM................................................Away vs. MACCRAY MACCRAY Public Schools, Maynard

Friday, Sep 16, 2022

7:00 PM.....Minneota - Lac qui Parle Valley High School

Friday, Sep 23, 2022

7:00 PM......Away vs. Dawson-Boyd Dawson Boyd High School

Friday, Sep 30, 2022

7:00 PM......Yellow Medicine East Lac qui Parle Valley High School

Friday, Oct 7, 2022

7:00 PM......Away vs. Canby Canby High School

Thursday, Oct 13, 2022

Check the schools website for a updated events list www.lqpv.org

7:00 PM....................................... Away vs. Multiple Schools Lakeview High School (Cottonwood)

Wednesday, Oct 19, 2022

7:00 PM.................................. R-T-R - Lac qui Parle Valley High School Schedule sponsored by:

LQPV junior Ethan Schommer chest-bumps teammate Zander Boehnke before the start of a Southwest West district game Oct. 8, 2021 against Canby in Madison.

West Central Tribune www.wctrib.com To Subscribe call 320-235-1154


PIGSKIN PREVIEW

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 31, 2022 | 17

PREVIEW

MACCRAY

Big junior class propels Wolverines MACCRAY gained experience after going 1-8, but will need a new quarterback BY MICHAEL LYNE West Central Tribune

MAYNARD — After a one-win campaign in ‘21, the Wolverines will be led by a new quarterback for the first time since 2018 as four-year starter Isaac Strommer graduated in the spring. A junior standing at 6-foot-2, Michael Thein will quarterback MACCRAY’s offense. He will hand the ball off to the team’s offensive MVP, junior running back Sebi Cisneros, who had 286 rushing

yards in ‘21. Despite losing wide receiver/defensive backs Gavin Husman and Brooks Asche, Thein will still have a five-man receiving corps led by junior wide receiver Isaac Post. Post had 326 yards and six touchdowns on 34 catches in ‘21. “We will be more balanced in our offensive attack this year, with the most returning starters coming on the offensive line,” MACCRAY head coach Cole Christopher said. “(Thein, Cisneros and Post) will make for a great threeheaded monster for our offense.” The Wolverines’ top three tacklers from ‘21 — senior Austin Sweep and juniors Brady Heiling and Sawyer

Janssen — return. Post also is a returnee on the defensive side. Sweep led MACCRAY with 92 tackles, adding two fumble recoveries. Heiling trailed with 88 tackles, tallying two sacks and one fumble recovery. Janssen had 28 tackles and one fumble recovery. Post posted 23 tackles and three interceptions. “Our defense will be small in size, but they’ll be the best tackling group out of MACCRAY in over the last five years,” Christopher said. “Our linebacker group, led by Sweep, should be the strongest unit of our defense.” MACCRAY opens up its ‘22 season at 7 p.m. Sept. 1 at Murray County Central. “Last season, though

Joe Brown/West Central Tribune

The MACCRAY football team’s defense wraps up a runner with some gang tackling during the 2021 season. 1-8, we made big strides considering we only had two juniors on the team

“We should get contributions from all 15 juniors that are playing this season.”

and 11 sophomores that gained varsity experience,” Christopher said.

MACCRAY WOLVERINES varsity football schedule 2022

Thursday, Sep 1, 2022 7:00 PM....Away vs. MCC MCC - Slayton

Friday, Sep 9, 2022

7:00 PM....Lac Qui Parle Valley - MACCRAY Public Schools, Maynard

Friday, Sep 16, 2022

7:00 PM....Away vs. Lakeview Lakeview High School (Cottonwood)

Friday, Sep 23, 2022

7:00 PM....Russell-Tyler-Ruthton - MACCRAY Public Schools, Maynard

Friday, Sep 30, 2022

7:00 PM....Canby - MACCRAY Public Schools, Maynard

IT’S ALL ABOUT

ATTITUDE!! 711 Wolverine Drive Clara City, MN 56222 www.maccray.k12.mn.us/ 320-847-2154

Friday, Oct 7, 2022

7:00 PM....Away vs. Minneota Minneota — K.P. Kompelien Field

Thursday, Oct 13, 2022

Check the schools website for a updated events list

7:00 PM....Dawson-Boyd - MACCRAY Public Schools, Maynard

Wednesday, Oct 19, 2022

7:00 PM....Away vs. Yellow Medicine East Yellow Medicine East High School

Schedule sponsored by:

MACCRAY PUBLIC SCHOOLS www.maccray.k12.mn.us/ 711 Wolverine Drive, Clara City • 320-847-2154


PIGSKIN PREVIEW

18 | WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 31, 2022

RENVILLE COUNTY WEST

RCW is revved up for the season Experienced Jaguars aim for a long state playoff run BY TOM ELLIOTT West Central Tribune

DANUBE —It’s not a mistake to say there is some well-placed enthusiasm about the 2022 season for Renville County West. The Jaguars return nearly the entire starting nine intact and are aiming for their third section championship in four years. It’d be four in four years except the 2020 team saw its season end with a 6-0 record when the playoffs were canceled because of the

coronavirus pandemic. They were 11-1 in 2019, 6-0 in ‘20 and 8-4 last year. The best news? Eight of nine starters return on offense. On defense, its nine out of nine. “We’re actually sitting pretty good,” said head coach Ryan Hebrink, who has 11 seniors, 10 juniors, nine sophomores and five freshmen on his varsity team. “We feel good about where we’re at.” Where they’re at is likely one of the top nine-man teams in the state. One of the only players of note gone is Tyler Amsden. On offense, quarterback AJ Gasca, running backs Jasen Jansen and Jack Wertish, wide receivers

RCW junior Adam Schrupp (3) high-fives teammates during pre-game intros during a 9-Man South West game against Mountain Lake in Danube.

Isaac Haen and Adam Schrupp, guards Noah Gullickson and Carter Rice and center Carter Rice are all back. “The big thing for us is we can’t be satisfied with what we’ve done,” Hebrink said. “The team has had some success. We’ve made the quarterfinals. What does it take to get past that and play in US Bank Stadium?” Defensively, Rice (Sr., DE) and Gullickson (Sr., DT) are back on the line. Jansen (Jr., LB), Hunter Ridler (Sr., LB) and Luki Hale (Sr., LB) also return as does the secondary of Haen (Sr., DB), Wertish (Jr., DB), Gasca (Sr., DB) and Schrupp (Sr.). Haen, Gullickson, Gasca, Ridler and

Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

RCW: Page 20

RCW JAGUARS Football Schedule 2022 Friday, Sept 2, 2022

Friday, Oct 7, 2022

7:00 PM......... Home vs. Westbrook/Walnut Grove

Friday, Sept 9, 2022

7:00 PM................... Away vs. Cedar Mountain - Morgan

Thursday, Oct 13, 2022

7:00 PM.................. Away vs. Mountain Lake

7:00 PM.............................. Home vs. Nicollet

-Mountain Lake

Friday, Sept 16, 2022 7:00 PM................Home vs. Red Rock Central

Friday, Sept 30, 2022 7:00 PM............... Home vs. Hills Beaver Creek

Wednesday, Oct 19, 2022 7:00 PM.........................Away vs. Sleepy Eye Saint Mary’s High School - Sleepy Eye Check the schools website for an updated events list

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PIGSKIN PREVIEW

Good Luck to all athletes and students this upcoming year! 320-235-5200

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 31, 2022 | 19

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PIGSKIN PREVIEW

20 | WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 31, 2022

YELLOW MEDICINE EAST

YME aims for more victories With a strong off-season program, the Sting believe that will translate to better results on the field BY TOM ELLIOTT West Central Tribune

GRANITE FALLS — There is nowhere to go but up for Yellow Medicine East. The Sting went 0-9 in 2021 and bring a 15-game losing streak into the 2022 season. Head coach Lucas Damm said YME made changes to his staff and there is something to build on. There are 18 returning letterwinners, including 10 seniors on the roster. “We are setting the goals high as a team and a staff,” Damm said. “We have lots of new faces on staff and some coaching changes. “We are ready to rise to the challenge and have a great first year as a new staff. The kids

RCW From Page 18

Jansen are captains. Gullickson and Rice earned all-district honors. Gasca and Haen were all-district honorable-mentions. Gasca completed 35 of 81 passes for 370 yards with two touchdowns and four interceptions. Jansen rushed for 984 yards and 13 touchdowns on 197 carries, a 5.0 average. Wertish rushed 62 times for 490 yards and six TDs, a 7.9 average. Gasca had 452 yards and six touchdowns rushing on 71 carries, a 6.4 average. Haen caught 16 passes for 273 yards and

are excited and ready to change the culture. We believe in them and I hope they believe in us.” Leading the way will be Andrew Flaten (Jr., QB/DB), Nolan Hildahl (Sr., FB/LB), Bryce Sneller (Sr., RT/ DE), Cody Dahlager (Sr., WB/LB), Landon Anderson (Sr., OL/DE) and Owen Torvik (Sr., OL/DL). “Nolan Hildahl will be the backbone of his team and running game,” Damm said. “Nolan will be a key leader all year and his work this summer showed up during his max-out week. He will be a huge part of our defense (at) middle linebacker as well.” Hildahl rushed for 320 yards on 90 carries, a 3.6 yardsper-carry average. He

had a team-leading 15 catches for 136 yards. He led the Sting with 36 solo and 18 tackles, including two tackles for loss, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries. A key player to watch is Brady Dahlager, a sophomore. He’s one of the fastest players in the west central area. He’s expected to start at halfback and has been timed at 4.4 seconds in the 40-yard dash and has a 36-1/2inch vertical jump. Cody Dahlager, a senior, led YME with 382 yards rushing on 99 carries, a 3.9 average, running for three Tds. He also caught 12 passes for 150 yards and three TDs. Damm said a summer weight-lifting program has helped improve

two TDs. Jansen led the defense with 90 total tackles, including 43 solo. He also had four tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and two defensive touchdowns. Wertish (71 tackles), Rice (66 tackles and 10 tackles for loss), Ridler (61 tackless), Haen (57 tackles), Gullickson

(51 tackles) and Hale (42 tackles) all had big defensive seasons. “While I still feel we are a team with some strong confidence, I by no means think we have it all together and are where we need to be,” Hebrink said. “The question is, how quick can we get on track here?”

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Yellow Medicine East sophomore quarterback Andrew Flaten attempts to stiffarm Russell-Tyler-Ruthton senior defensive tackle Brady Gifford on Friday, Oct. 15, in Granite Falls. his players a great deal. Many players are squatting more than

300 pounds and deadlifting 400 pounds or more.

“We are very excited for the year,” Damm said.

YME Sting

varsity football schedule 2022 Friday, September 9th 7 PM Away vs. Minneota Minneota High School

Friday, September 16th 7 PM Home vs Dawson-Boyd

Friday, September 23rd 7 PM Home vs. Canby

Friday, September 30th

7 PM Away vs. Lac qui Parle Valley Lac qui Parle Valley High School

Friday, October 7th 7 PM Home vs. Lakeview

Friday, October 14th

7 PM Away vs. Russell-Tyler-Ruthton Russell-Tyler-Ruthton High School

Wednesday, October 19th 7 PM Home vs. MACCRAY

Check the school’s website for an updated events list www.isd2190.org

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