The Minnewaska football team has 15 returning letter winners back as the Lakers try to bounce back from an 0-9 season in 2011.
Senior captains Nathan Snider (OG/LB), Trenton Noetzelman (TE/DE), Isaiah Adams (TE/DE), Sam Long (RB/DB) and Jake Amundson (QB/DB) are all back among a group of nine returning starters. They are the only seniors on a team that will still have to rely on some young players.
“Returning five starters on offense and seven on defense, the Lakers look to improve on the 0-9 record of 2011,” head coach Steve Hill said. “[Our] strengths include the makings of a good offensive line and a solid linebacker crew on defense.”
That offensive line consist of returning players in Snider and juniors Taylor Lundebrek, Ryan Stottler and JR Formo. Amundson and junior Austin Ostrander will battle at the quarterback spot, while the Lakers return Long as the primary running back. The receiving corps includes a senior tight end in Noetzelman and junior wide receivers Jayden Beecher and Jack Schultenover.
“Others looking to crack the lineup on the offensive side of the ball are senior fullback Isaiah Adams, juniors Greg Reddest, Alex Elwood and Gary Steffensen, sophomores Riley Thompson, Will Anderson, Mike Maus, Colin Gaffaney and Jackson Hendrickson,” Hill said.
The linebacker trio that Hill expects to lead the defense will be led by Snider, Beecher and Ostrander. Stottler and Steffensen will also be asked to help out that unit.
Amundson, Long, Jack Schultenover, Jon Nygaard and Matt Paulson will help fill out the secondary. Adams, Noetzelman and Lundebrek return to help anchor the defensive line, while JR Formo, Maus and Alex Elwood will join them up front.
The Lakers will be playing in what Hill called a balanced West Central Conference this season.
“BOLD and Morris-Chokio-Alberta may have the preseason advantage,” he said. “ACGC will also have a strong team, as well as defending WCC-North champ Montevideo. [In Section 6AA] Paynesville is the defending champ, but loses some great athletes to graduation. I look for BOLD to be the team to beat.”
2012 MINNEWASKA FOOTBALL
SENIORS – Jake Amundson; Trenton Noetzelman, Sam Long, Isaiah Adams, Nathan Snider
JUNIORS – Jayden Beecher, Austin Ostrander, Jack Schultenover, Alex Elwood, Will Anderson, Andrew Kinney, Gary Steffensen, Ryan Stottler, JR Formo, Greg Reddest, Collin Gaffaney, Taylor Lundebrek
SOPHOMORES – Riley Thompson, Matt Paulson, Bret Ingebretson, Dalton Feeken, Luke Nielson, Jon Nygaard, Jackson Hendrickson, Michael Maus
FRESHMEN – Michael Gruber, Austin VerSteeg, Tony Hill, Spencer Winter, Greg Helander, Marcello Arrendondo, Matt McIver, Brooks Bodacker, Jeff Helander, Brad Jacobs, Treyson DeJager, Dawson Pobuda, Blake Joos, Justin Amundson, Grant Hitchcock
COACHING – Head coach – Steve Hill; Assistant coaches – Gordy Moeller, Dieken Swalla, Trevor Solum, Kurt Amundson