Football: Osakis heads into opener ready to make another run
The Silverstreaks open their 2022 regular season at home on Thursday night at 6 against Crookston, a team that went 3-6 in 2021.
OSAKIS — The Osakis football team had a 2021 season worthy of making a state tournament during most years.
Both Barnesville, a district foe, and West Central Area-Ashby, a district and Section 6AA opponent for Osakis, made the semifinals in the Class AA state tournament. WCA-Ashby almost won the state championship before falling just short in a 14-13 loss to Chatfield on Nov. 26.
Osakis beat the Knights in a 22-20 game during the regular season and then lost by a 19-14 final in the section playoffs. The Silverstreaks also beat Barnesville in a 52-50 thriller in three overtimes on the way to an 8-2 record overall last fall.
Coaches and players felt like they were right there as one of the top Class AA teams, and that will be their mindset again this year.
“We expect to compete for both a section championship and a district championship,” head coach Bill Infanger said. “We were the 2021 district champions in a district that included Barnesville and WCA and lost a very close game in the section championship to WCA. We expect to build off of last year and make another run at it.”
Infanger is in his 13th season coaching in Osakis and comes in with a 64-47 career record.
The Silverstreaks have key pieces back at important positions. That includes junior quarterback Kyle Mages, senior running back Tyson Hagedon and junior fullback Drew Imdieke.
Mages threw for 1,183 yards on 70-of-131 passing with 13 touchdowns in 2021. He also ran the ball 45 times for 325 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Hagedon led Osakis with 1,027 yards rushing and 6 touchdowns on 176 carries. Imdieke was third in tackles with 48 and a fumble recovery, along with finishing second in rushing offensively with 612 yards and 18 touchdowns on 141 carries.
Linebacker Wyatt Sell and linemen McCarter Kirksey and Logan Karnes also return with plenty of varsity experience. Sell was second on the team in tackles last fall with 77. Kirksey was an honorable-mention all-district player, and Karnes was the program’s Most Valuable Defensive Lineman Award winner after tallying 30 tackles, a fumble recovery and two sacks.
Osakis does have some key pieces to replace around that returning talent. Bauer Klimek was a versatile weapon on both sides of the ball as a senior last year where he led the team in receiving touchdowns (7 TD, 24-498) and interceptions (5).
Carter Watnaas (TE), Carsten Jacobsen (DB) and Ethan Wiggins (WR) are other skill-position players lost. Where Osakis took its biggest hit to graduation was along the lines where a talented group of Brady Mages, Chayce Meyer, Caleb Goodwin and Aaron Nack left holes to fill.
“We replace four of five offensive linemen,” Infanger said. “The incoming group has size and talent. We will just have to improve every week to see how good we can be. A lot depends on this group's growth throughout the season.”
Infanger listed seniors Ian Adolphsen (OL/DL) and Tyler Bailey (OL/DL), along with juniors Grant Mages and Tyler Baumgartner as guys who have an opportunity to make a big impact stepping into bigger roles on varsity this fall.
Osakis’ Midwest (White) District should be good this year with WCA-Ashby and Barnesville looking like two of the top teams for Osakis to compete with again. Infanger expects Sauk Centre and Wadena-Deer Creek to join WCA-Ashby as teams capable of competing with the Silverstreaks at the top of the Section 6AA field.
2022 OSAKIS FOOTBALL ROSTER - SENIORS - Ian Adolphsen, Tyler Bailey, Aidan Gulbranson, Tyson Hagedon, Aaron Kallstrom, Logan Karnes, McCarter Kirksey, Jack Petrich; JUNIORS - Tyler Baumgartner, Ben Berger, Blake Bouldin, Gaven Cimbura, Duncan Tronicke, Noah Goodwin, Mekai Hoelscher, Drew Imdieke, Jacob Johanson, Grant Mages, Kyle Mages, Wyatt Sell; SOPHOMORES - Mazin Al-ameri, Noah Bearson, Kole Bogenrief, Landon Chisholm, Austin Dickinson, Lukas Duchene, Reggie George, Bryler Gustafson, Kaleb Helberg, Caiden Knox, Micah Moore, Gavin Muenzhuber, Clayton Niehaus, Micah Soderholm, Seth Staloch, Mikkel Steinert, Grant Winkle, Zain Wright, Andrew Ziesmer; FRESHMEN - Teagen Hamilton, Zachary Harlow, Simon Jacobson, Caleb Karnes, Levi Middendorf, Devan Moe, Christian Nathe, Levi Ries, Emry Stewart, Tyler Stier, Conner Tenhoff, Trenton VanNyhuis, Zachary Winkle
OSAKIS FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
Sept. 1 vs Crookston, 6 p.m.
Sept. 9 vs Hawley, 7 p.m.
Sept. 16 at Staples-Motley, 7 p.m.
Sept. 23 at Barnesville, 7 p.m.
Sept. 30 vs Parkers Prairie, 7 p.m.
Oct. 7 at Perham, 7 p.m.
Oct. 14 at WCA-Ashby, 7 p.m.
Oct. 19 vs Pillarger, 6 p.m.