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August 22, 2013Arthur County
Last season the Wolves started 3-0 before injuries took hold of the team. Finishing 5-4 was a testament to what the younger players could do while filling in for those injured.
"Last year our freshman and sophomores gained a tremendous amount of game experience due to injuries," second year head coach Joe Kupper said. "This will be a huge strength heading into the upcoming season."
Senior Seth Cumpton (5-9,155) and junior Gunner Walker (6-1,170) both return after being injured last season. Cumpton will share backfield time with all-state honorable mention running back junior Austin Helmer (5-10,160). Walker will look to get the start at quarterback.
The defense will feature all-state honorable mention at linebacker, senior Lane Vasa (6-1,170). Vasa is a four year letterman for the Wolves. Cumpton will also get some playing time at the linebacker position.
Walker and sophomore Mike Buitron (5-10,135) will share playing time at the safety position this season.
The Cowboys will be looking to ride into the sunset this season after finishing 5-4 and making the playoffs last year. Fifth year head coach Chris Bode said the team brings back valuable experience, returning five starters on each side of the ball from last year.
"We will have a very strong group of kids returning next year," Bode said. "We are only losing one starter from a team that won five games and made the playoffs."
The Cowboys have their starting quarterback returning this year in senior Austin Wobig (5-8,150). Wobig threw for 737 yards and 14 touchdowns, ranking him second in six-man football.
Senior Taryn Ostransky (6-0,195) returns this year after ranking second in six-man last season, averaging 143 yards per game. Senior Cody Trump (5-6,130) will also see some time in the backfield this season.
Returning to the front line this season is junior Casey Lamle (6-3,185) who will be joined by junior Wyatt Galloway (6-0,145) to create a solid front.
On defense the Cowboys will have Ostransky roaming around the secondary, where his coach said he could be an "excellent safety at the NAIA level."
Junior Clay Goodwin (5-9,155) returns to the linebacker position, where he recovered four fumbles last year, tying for first in all of six-man. Goodwin also racked up 46 unassisted tackles last season.
The Falcons finished last season at 7-2 and despite losing some key players from last year's team, eighth-year head coach Rusty Rautenberg said he has faith in his younger players to step up.
"We will be young this year, but we return some kids that had quality playing time," Rautenberg said. "It will be a matter of seeing who fits where. We should have some good talent."
The Falcons have many holes to fill for this upcoming season, but one of them will not be on the receiving side. Back is junior Michael Knerval (6-0,180), who caught one touchdown last season to go along with 527 yards.
The defense is where the Falcons bring back to the most experience. Sophomore linebacker Tyler Rautenberg (5-7,150), who had 97 tackles to go along with two interceptions. Rautenberg also blocked two kicks last season.
Sophomore Noah Rutjens (5-9,155) returns after making a solid impact last season in the secondary. Rutjens had 50 tackles last season.
The Hyannis Longhorns will be the beneficiary of playing young players last year and using their experience to improve on their 3-5 record from last season. Co-head coaches Chris Kraus and Bob Frederickson said having that experience for the younger players will be a huge factor this season.
"We started mostly underclassmen last year," Kraus said. "Hopefully the experience gained by our younger players will pay off for us this season."
The offense features two running backs that will both look to take control this season. Senior Travis Hoover and sophomore Gabe Haney will be the featured backs this upcoming year.
On the defensive side, the Longhorns will have major strength in their line. Sophomore Emmit Hoover will lead the team as a returning defensive lineman.
Despite the 0-8 record Maywood finished with last season, the Tigers are returning five starters on offense and four starters on defense. Sixth year head coach Charles Jones said a big strength for the Tigers is the depth they will have this season.
"We, I feel, will have some depth, which will be a change for us," Jones said. "Our young kids will have to step up and be contributors in order for us to be successful."
Starting the season at quarterback for the Tigers is junior Dalton Littell (5-9,150). Littell rushed for 366 yards last season.
Joining him in the backfield will be senior Jericho Vieyra (5-9,145).
Moving from leading passer to the wide receiver position this season will be senior Jacob Dibbern (5-11,155). Dibbern threw for 526 yards and five touchdowns last season. Junior Austin Phillips will get some reps at wide out as well.
On defense the Tigers are led Littell who was named first team all-state at the linebacker position. Vieyra could see some playing time there as well.
The defensive line returns two players who are set to make a huge impact. Phillips and sophomore Jace Walther anchor a strong defensive line.
The Wildcats will need to find out who will be fitting in where on both sides of the ball this year and quickly. They finished with a 4-4 record last season, but return zero starters on offense and three on defense. Fifth year head coach John Adam said despite the roster size, they have kids that can play.
"We have no seniors, but have six to seven good athletes that, if we stay healthy, should be competitive," Adam said. "We did lose two starters that were Elba kids that would have made us very strong."
Starting the year at quarterback this season will be sophomore Joe Skinner (5-11,165). Skinner started one game at quarterback last season, so there is varsity experience there.
At running back, the Wildcats will look at junior Jordge Grado (5-8,155) to start.
Defensive will be the strong suit for the Wildcats this season.
On the line, junior Dillion Kaslon (6-1,185) returns after averaging 4 sacks a game last season.
Junior Weston Poss (6-0,185) and sophomore Ryan Gorecki (5-10,165) will line up at linebacker this year.
The Beavers finished last season with a promising 5-4 record, but lost seven seniors from last years team. Seventh year head coach Jereme Jones said his young players will need to step up fast.
"This season will be a big change for me as we lose seven seniors who have been the core of the team the last three years," Jones said. "Our young guys will have to step up quickly in order for us to compete."
Starting the season at quarterback for the Beavers will be sophomore Bryce Hoffmeister (5-9,190).
At running back, St. Edward will have options with two backs who averaged over eight yards a carry last season. Seniors Austin Miller (6-1,170) and Daniel Stock (5'10,150) will give the Beavers a solid back field.
On defense, the Beavers are planning on using their speed over strength.
On the line, Miller and Hoffmeister will look to anchor a strong front. Hoffmeister had eight sacks last season.
Junior Jason Osantowski (5-6,125) returns after having 23 tackles last season.
The Mustangs enjoyed a fantastic year in their inaugural season to six-man football, finishing the year 8-2. Head coach Duane Arntt said his athletes picked up the six-man game very quickly.
"Our kids adapted very quickly to the game," Arntt said. "We lost six good seniors from last year, but I think we will be okay for this year. The younger players will have to step up."
Returning to run the offense this year is first team all-state quarterback junior Seyler Monroe (5-11,160). Monroe threw for 1340 yards and 24 touchdowns last season, ranking him first in six-man. Monroe was the only quarterback to throw for over 1000 yards last season.
He'll be joined in the backfield by first team all-state running back junior Journey Ericsson (5-7,165). Ericsson ran for 1526 yards last season, ranking first in six-man.
Second team all-state center senior Austin Woodard (5-11,220) anchors a solid front line for the Mustangs. Woodard is a three year letterman for Silver Lake.
The defensive side of the ball features honorable mention for the east division sophomore Quentin Journey (5-9,165) on the defensive line. Journey will be joined by Woodard on the line.
Ericsson and Monroe will share time at the safety position, giving the Mustangs a secondary that other teams will make sure to be aware of.
Last season the Warriors were one of the top teams in six-man football, reaching the state playoff final and finishing 9-2, and now return four starters on offense and three on defense.
"We return a lot of experience, including our entire line, but we also have to replace both the offensive and defensive players of the year from a state runner-up team," says ninth-year head coach Barry Swisher. "We will be young at the skill positions."
Leading that veteran line will be junior Kyle Westover (6-5, 225), a second-team all-stater in 2012, along with senior Philip Parker (6-3, 175) and senior tight end Josh Kling (6-3, 175).
Junior Nathan Woodrum (5-8, 150) returns at quarterback and look for junior Jeremiah Fink (5-9, 165) to be a key piece to the running game.
Kling and Parker were honorable mention all-state in the defensive line, where Westover will also play, with Fink a linebacker who was also honorable mention all-state. Woodrum returns as starting safety.
Wauneta-Palisade finished last season undefeated and topped it off with a state championship. The Broncos return only two starters on offense and one starter on defense, but co-head coach Randy Geier said the team has the chance to be competitive.
"With a good summer in the weight room, we can be competitive," Geier said. "Coach Frecks and I feel like we will have good leadership with returning senior all-staters Wes Anderjaski and Hayden Pollman."
Anderjaski and Pollman are the two returning starters from last season and are two good ones to bring back. Anderjaski had 16 receptions for 214 yards last season, while Pollman grabbed 13 receptions for 361 yards and seven touchdowns.
Both players are featured on defense as well. Anderjaski was last years second leading tackler with 106 total tackles, while grabbing six interceptions and recovering two fumbles.
Junior Gage Crowell (5-11,165) will make an impact on both sides of the ball as well, returning as the teams top lineman.