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Football Team Capsules


Tue, Sep 3rd, 2013
Posted in All Sports

Chatfield Gophers

Head Coach: Jeff Johnson (2012 Co-Three Rivers South Coach of the Year)

2012 Record: 9-2 (Section 1AA runner-up, lost to Caledonia 29-0 in title game)

Class Breakdown: 9 seniors, 18 juniors, 13 sophomores, 1 freshman (41 total)

Other Seniors: Jake Neis (5’10” 185 TB/CB, All-Conference), Nate Skare (6’2” 195 QB, All-Conference), Jayme LaPlante (6’3” 215 TE/LB All-Conference), A.J. Riley (5’10” 155 WR/CB), Alex Haffner (5’9” 160 TB/LB), Sawyer Prinsen (6’1” 200 OL/DL), Brandon Adler (6’5” 200 OL/DL), Michael Mabe (6’3” 245 OL/DL), Dalton Schwier (6’0” 175 OL/LB)

Other Key Returnees: Alex Bradt (5’11” 175 Jr. FB/LB), Ryan Meeker (5’8” 160 Jr. RB/DB), Drew Hurley (6’1” 185 Jr. WR/DB), Ethan Wright (5’11” 170 Jr. RB/LB), Tommy Jech (6’0” 215 OL/LB).

Comments from Coach Johnson: “(We have) great numbers this year, probably the best that we’ve had for a long time. We have 54 kids 9-12 out. We got a couple nice classes. Our junior class is very big. Our seniors are at nine. We’ve got a lot of kids returning. This year we’ve got kids who are three-year starters. Jake Neis at running back. Nate Skare is a 3-year starter at quarterback. Jayme LaPlante is a 3-year starter. So those guys got a lot of experience. Some of our (other) seniors this year, played last year, started all year, and they played a little bit a sophomores too. We’re excited for the fact we’ve got a lot of experience returning this year. (Two) big shoes we’ll have to fill are our wide receiver and fullback positions, but I think we got the kids to do that.” On the new Southern Football Alliance: “The disadvantage of playing (Caledonia to begin the season) is neither team has a scouting report. It’s gonna be athlete on athlete and (then) whoever can make adjustments. (But) we needed to do it (make the Southern Football Alliance)…that’s the right thing to do. It (evens out) the parity of the conference a little bit better. You can’t have the P-E-M’s playing the Wabasha’s anymore. And you really can’t have the Hayfield’s playing the Kasson’s anymore. This is the right thing to do. Both conferences wanted to do it. It is what it is. We have nine teams in our smaller conference so we have to start a week earlier. You’re gonna get the same rivals, with your Fillmore Central’s and Kingsland. You miss Dover-Eyota and St. Charles, but we’re gonna get to have them back at section time. The tricky part about Chatfield is we’re right at the top of the conference (enrollment-wise), so in two years we could move back up to the middle division.” On the conference competition: “Caledonia is the first on the list. But that’s not gonna make or break our season. Rushford has a very good team coming back this season. Southland’s got a good team. They’re always well coached. You gotta be prepared week in and week out.”



Rushford-Peterson Trojans

Head Coach: Davin Thompson (2012 Three Rivers Co-Coach of the Year)

2012 Record: 6-4 (lost 14-7 to Faribault B.A. in the 1A semifinals)

Class Breakdown: 5 seniors, 20 juniors, 9 sophomores, 1 freshmen (35 total)

Seniors: Riley Vitse (5’11” 190 FB/LB), Jordan Bergan (5’10” 210 C/DT), Cale Stensgard (6’0” 225 OL/DT), Ross Anderson (6’1” 230 OL/DT), Ryan Wiedemann (6’0” 165 WR/CB).

Other Key Returnees: Cole Kingsley (6’0” 165 RB/LB Jr., 2012 All-Conference), Alex Vix (5’9” 155 RB/CB Jr. 2012 All-Conference), Zach Ansell (5’11” 210 OL/DE Jr.) Jonnie Koenen (5’10” 160 QB/S Jr.), Charlie Krambeer (6’0” 145 WR/CB Jr.), Wesley Trejo (5’5” 135 RB/LB Jr.), Jordan Agrimson (5’11” 180 RB/LB Jr.)

Comments from Coach Thompson: “We only have 5 seniors, but 20 juniors. (Offensively) gonna be balanced. We got nice athletes who can run the ball and catch the ball. With Cole Kingsley and Alex Vix (in particular) coming back from a good year last year (both All-Conference), defensively and offensively, we’ve got some guys who can carry the ball, and help us in the run game and the pass game. We’re just trying to get it cranked up. These guys believe in each other and are staying positive. We’re real excited about this season.” On the section title being a realistic goal, “Yeah. That’s always there. We want to win the conference. Obviously win the section, try to get into the state tournament.” As for the competition in the new conference, “We hate to lose Lewiston. That was a good rivalry. It’s gonna be a little more traveling, but we got tough teams on their (the schedule)…still got Chatfield, still got Caledonia…you got Fillmore Central…you can…go right down the list. The Three Rivers, you always gotta come to play.” As for the Southern Football Alliance, “Luckily we’ve kept some of our rivalries. Some you’ll lose, which is sad to see, but we’ll make new rivalries. It (the bye week) plays out pretty good, the first week of school (week three of the football season). The kids will get acclimated to school, won’t have to play a game that Friday.”



Lanesboro Burros

Head Coach: James Semmen

2012 Record: 6-4 (lost 40-8 to Grand Meadow in 9-man 1A semifinals)

Class Breakdown: 7 seniors, 11 juniors, 7 sophomores, 8 freshman (33 total)

Seniors: Niko Anderson (5’9” 185 RB/DE, All-Conference, SEC RB of the Year), Gabe Decker (5’7” 155 RB/LB), Garret Boggs (5’10 165 QB/CB), Clay Olson (6’1” 240 OL/DL), Kole Ruud (5’11” 175 TE/LB), Luke Rogers (6’1” 160 K), Tristen Chiglo (5’8” 170 OL/DL)

Other Key Returnees: Liam Dorn (6’0” 190 Jr. RB/LB), Will Semmen (6’0” 160 Jr. QB/S), Jeremy Hanson (5’7” 190 Jr. RB/LB), Jereal Eddy (6’2” 170 Jr. OL/DE), Matt Luck (5’9” 185 Jr. TE/DE), Alex Reed (5’10” 130 JR. RB/CB), Cory Mensink (6’1” 240 So. OL/DL)

Comments from Coach Semmen: “Everything looks good for right now. Everything looks good on paper, I always say! We do have more depth than last year. Last year we played so many sophomores. We do have 7 seniors. Five of the seniors had considerable time last year. We all look to make sure we rely on our juniors and seniors. That’ll be sort of nice to have I guess, 18 juniors and seniors together. We will play a couple sophomores too this year. Have some big kids from our sophomore class…three that top 250-plus in that class. The biggest thing for us is getting our line to gel, working together. (And) we have to stay healthy. (And) we always talk about, throughout the whole season, making sure we get better each and every week.” On competition in the SEC: “Overall, it’ll be a competitive conference I believe. Grand Meadow, they were a great team last year. They lost quite a few kids, but they still have their QB (Trenton Bliefus) and RB (Landon Jacobson), and one key lineman (Isaac Tangen) I know for sure, back. Spring Grove, I know they have 10 or 11 seniors. But they lost some great players too…that Olerud kid was great. Houston, I do believe, is going to be really good.” On Niko’s last hurrah: “He’s such a special player. It was during wrestling he said (when asked about his goals), ‘To score 100 TD’s in his career.’ He’s on pace (has 76) to do it if he has a normal year for him.”



Houston Hurricanes

Head Coach: Ryan Gatzlaff

2012 Record: 5-5 (lost to Spring Grove 41-12 in Section 1 9-man semifinals).

Class Breakdown: 17 seniors, 8 juniors,7 sophomores, 4 freshman (36 total)

Seniors: Christian Sires (6’0” 198 QB/DL), Dylan Lee (5’4” 139 RB/WR/LB), Chase Krenzke (5’10” 148 WR/LB), Tyler Hoskins (5’10” 165 RB/WR/LB), Mason Drake (6’2” 179 WR/LB), Peter Jergenson (5’10” 209 FB/DL/LB), Brady Ramin-Pierce (5’9” 166 WR/DL/LB), Sam Mlsna (5’10” 200 OL/DL), Karl Inglett (6’2” 305 OL/DT), Connor Schultz (5’10” 241 OL/DL), Matt Johnson (6’3” 248 OL/DL), R.J. Meeks (5’10” 205 OL/DT), Evan Scheck (6’1” 233 OL/DT), Hunter Dockter (6’1” 281 OL/DT), Nathan Hahn (6’2” 272 OL/DT), Quentin Johnson (5’10” 145 WR/LB/S), Alee Boelter (5’5” K)

Other Key Returnees: Brett Hoskins (5’7” 156 Jr. RB/WR/DB), Sam Schneider (6’1” 258 OL/DL), Carter Chiglo (5’5” 157 RB/WR/DB).

Comments from Coach Gatzlaff: “We had not won in the first round of the play-offs two years previous to (last season), so it was good to get a play-off win again. We’re building on that for this year. We got a really nice group of seniors this year…seventeen seniors playing for us, so that’s pry the thing I’m most excited about this year…having a lot of experience and depth retuning to the team. (But) it’s always a week-by-week, game-by-game sort of thing. You try to be playing your best football by then end of the regular season. Christian Sires coming back at quarterback is important, important to have returning experience at quarterback. Excited to have Tyler Hoskins and Peter Jergenson in the backfield. Carter Chiglo didn’t play a lot on varsity last year, but is good junior. We got a lot of depth across the line and at some of the skills positions. We got some pretty good size, on the seniors, (but) a couple big juniors too. We got quite a few guys, who started at some point, back. (Our) strength is depth. We got 37 players on the roster. That’s a luxury that not a lot of 9-man teams, especially in our area. Depth and senior experience is our (biggest) strengths.” On the SEC race; “I expect it (the SEC) to be competitive at the top…Spring Grove, Grand Meadow, Lanesboro’s got Niko Anderson back, he’s definitely a force (in the backfield). There’s gonna be some quality football teams in the conference this year.” On lofty team goals: “You kind of all agree upon the fact that everybody is here cause you want to win. And then you try to get away from that conversation (lofty team goals like conference/section title) and just do what you can to get better.”



Mabel-Canton Cougars

Head Coach: Karl Urbaniak

2012 Record: 3-6 (lost to Houston 67-28 in Section 1A 9-man quarterfinals)

Class Breakdown: 6 seniors, 5 juniors, 3 sophomores, 2 freshman, 1 8th grader (17 total)

Seniors: Hunter Johnson (6’0” 180 RB/LB), Noah Manning (5’11” 170 RB/DB), Collin O’Bieglo (6’0” 190 QB/DB), Mac Nelson (5’10” 185 OL/LB), Mason Henry (6’0” 205 OL/DL), Jordan Magnuson (5’10” 250 OL/DL)

Other Key Returnees: Keyser Wenthold (5’7” 145 Jr. RB/DB), Jon Selness (5’10” 155 Jr. RB/DB), Donnie Lind (6’1” 180 Jr. OL/LB), Lucas Nordsving (5’11” 180 Jr. OL/DL), Alex Mengis (5’11” 210 So. OL/DL)

Comments from Coach Urbaniak: “(We have) five or six seniors. We have, I think, 17 kids out right now. We graduated one person, so a lot of these guys did get experience last year. (Last year) we made a ton of mistakes early. I think our kids took personal responsibility of their mistakes. I think we improved. We really started playing good ball about week five or six or seven. And then we had a little backslide in our last game. Spring Grove came out and kind of hammered us. And then in the play-offs, we played well in the first half against Houston. And then in the second half, you know, they beat us.” As for the conference: “Houston has a lot of seniors. They got about 15 to 20 seniors, which is a large number for a smaller school. You know, Grand Meadow with all the success they had last year, the skill positions they have coming back, with the running back and the quarterback. And they’re (Grand Meadow) always sound fundamentally, play pretty good defense. And then of course, Lanesboro, with two or three good backs. The coaches up there always do a real good job. And then Spring Grove, (they’ve) really played well the last two, two and a half years, so they’ll be tough. Just kind of looking forward to it (the season). I’m sure I’m speaking on behalf of all the coaches, but when you get around the kids, you get excited. With school right around the corner, it’s an exciting and fun time of year!”



Fillmore Central Falcons

Head Coach: Chris Mensink

2012 Record: 2-7 (lost to Rushford-Peterson 21-7 in 1A quarterfinals)

Class Breakdown: 16 seniors, 7 juniors, 9 sophomores (32 total)

Seniors: Tom Henry (5’11”, 181 RB/LB), Andy Love (5’11” 156 OL/DL), Logan Masters (5’7” 140 WR/CB), Dylan Birch (5’10” 275 C/DL), McKinnen Stone (5’11” 192 RB/LB) Collin Bennett (6’2” 166 WR/DE), Clay Fishbaugher (6’2” 145 OL/DL), Ascher Ostrom (6’4” 241 OL/DL), Connor Hanson (5’8” 167 OG/LB), Monty Holm (5’11” 180 OL/LB), Quentin Case (6’3” 187 WR/CB), Josh Jones (5’11” 162 WR/CB), Brady McCabe (6’0” 320 OL/DT), Will McKernan (5’11” 153 TE/S), Jesse Nelson (5’11” 165 OL/DL), Kirby O’Connor (5’10” 143 WR/CB).

Other Key Returnees: Bryce Whitehill (5’9” 160 Jr. QB/LB), Tyson Ristau (5’11” 160 So. RB/LB), Jordan Miller (5’10” 136 Jr. WR/CB), Gatlin Woellert (5’11” 161 Jr. RB/LB), Nick Mensink (6’0” 163 Jr. TE/DE), Zach Sorenson (6’2” 183 Jr. OL/DL).

- Comments from Coach Mensink: “We’d like to be .500 or better. We’ve got some athletes…16 seniors. That’s a good number of seniors. You always win with seniors. (Got some) athletic kids who weren’t on the team last year (Hanson, Holm, and Case). Have one of the faster lines we’ve had in many years. We are healthy coming into the season, which was not the case last year. We’d like to be in the middle or top half of the conference. (That’s) definitely is our goal.” As for competition in the new conference, “I don’t know a whole about Goodhue or Hayfield. I know Rushford is gonna have a nice team back…of course Caledonia and Chatfield should be very solid this year…Southland. You’re gonna have to play football and stay healthy.” As for the new Southern Football Alliance, “It doesn’t affect us (much). Our schedule didn’t change a whole lot (lost non-conference games versus Kickapoo Wisconsin and Lewiston-Altura, gained games versus Goodhue and Hayfield).”



Kingsland Knights

Head Coach: John Fenske

2012 Record: 1-8 (lost to Faribault B.A. 46-6 in Section 1 quarterfinals)

Class Breakdown: 4 seniors, 6 juniors, 7 sophomores, 6 freshman (25 total)

Seniors: Lenny Moore (5’10” 160 RB/DB), Jordan Meskill (5’10” 170 RB/DB), Ethan Cronk (5’9” 200 OL/DL), Broc Fiegel (6’1” 215 OL/DL)

Other Key Returnees: Jacob Rindels (5’11” 160 Jr. RB/DB), Quinn Larson (6’0” 170 So. QB/DB), JJ Fenske (5’11” 180 So. RB/DL), Marcus Plaehn (6’2” 170 Jr. WR/DL), Julius Wolf (6’3” 200 Jr. OL/DL),

Comments from Coach Fenske: “Everything is looking really good. We just have low numbers…17 kids ten thru twelve. Only four seniors and six juniors; there’s only 30 boys in those two classes total so we’re getting a good chunk of them, but we could use a few more. We gotta stay healthy if we’re gonna be successful. Our replacements are freshman. We’re hoping to stay in the middle (of the conference). At the end, you don’t want to be one of the bottom seeds cause you don’t want to go up against one of those top seeds in the play-offs. That’s a good thing about (the SFA). You get to play a couple more teams in our section, like Goodhue, so that’ll help. We’ll play hard. We’ll show up every night to play.” On the Southern Football Alliance helping a smaller school like Kingsland: “It didn’t change (things) a bit. We get Goodhue and Hayfield; otherwise we play Caledonia, Rushford, and Chatfield…the three bigs in our conference anyways. We weren’t playing Plainview anymore anyway. So really it’s not helping us any at all. (The bye week) is alright. It’s gonna help us cause ours is week six…right before we play Chatfield and Caledonia. Give us a chance to get healthy.” On competition in the conference: “I think Rushford has an outside chance, but I really think the conference championship is the first game of the season…between Caledonia and Chatfield.”

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