Lakers return eight starters
After advancing to the section title game in 2012, the Minnewaska football team is setting their sights on another winning season with a lineup full of varsity experience.
The Lakers have eight returning starters on both offense and defense this season, which head coach Steve Hill hopes will give them a chance to improve on their 6-5 record from 2012. The Lakers were 4-4 in the West Central Conference last season, which looks to be competitive from top to bottom again this year.
"The WCC looks to be a balanced conference once again," Hill said. "BOLD and ACGC may have the preseason advantage."
Hill expects BOLD to be the team to beat in the section again this year. Last season, the Lakers advanced to the title game before losing to BOLD 42-21.
Senior Austin Ostrander will return as the Lakers' quarterback, and he will have senior wide receivers Jack Schultenover and Jayden Beecher as targets with varsity experience.
Both the offensive and defensive line should be strong for Minnewaska. The offensive line has four returning starters, including Taylor Lundebrek, J.R. Formo, Ryan Stottler and Mike Maus.
Sophomore Greg Helander will give the Lakers experience at running back as a returning starter from 2012.
The Lakers also bring back a lot of experience on defense.
Returning starters along the defensive line are Lundebrek, Formo and Maus.
Schultenover and Ostrander will return as defensive backs, and Beecher, Helander and Gary Steffensen will be returning linebackers for the Lakers.
Hill expects Jon Nygaard, Luke Nielson and Bret Ingebretson to fill out the secondary for the Lakers.
The special teams will have experience this season, with Ethan Anderson as the returning kicker, Ostrander the returning punter and Beecher the long snapper.
August 30 vs. Morris Area, 7 p.m.
September 6 at BOLD, 7 p.m.
September 13 vs. ACGC, 7 p.m.
September 20 vs. Melrose Area, 7 p.m.
September 27 at Montevideo, 7 p.m.
October 4 at Sauk Centre, 7 p.m.
October 11 vs. Benson, 7 p.m.
October 16 at Paynesville, 7 p.m.
October 22 Start of 5AA playoffs, 7 p.m.