Eric Walkingstick returns for his seventh season as the head coach of Akron-Westfield, 16th overall, and has a career record of 106-70. The Westerners went 5-5 last year and lost to St. Albert 24-21 in the first round of the Class A playoffs.
The Westerners return nine starters (five on offense, four on defense). Junior running back and safety Nick Jacobs (5-9, 165) was named third-team all-state last season. Jacobs finished with 64.5 tackles and intercepted four passes. Senior running back and linebacker Christian Wolthuizen (6-0, 205) led the Westerners with 73.5 tackles and three tackles for loss. Junior running back and linebacker John Henrich (5-9, 180) notched 44 tackles and two tackles for loss. Senior receiver Connor Anderson (5-10, 170) caught 22 passes for 304 yards and four touchdowns.
Co-coaches Chris Reinert and Grant Peckenschneider ended their second season at the Warrior helm with a 5-4 record and finished the season with a promising four-game winning streak. Alta-Aurelia returns seven offensive and eight defensive starters from last season.
Senior running back Kaleb Sleezer was the Warriors' leader in all-purpose yards with 705 and scored 10 touchdowns while earning first-team all-district honors. Joining Sleezer in the backfield will be Nick Gaes, another senior who also was named first-team all-district. Gaes scored six touchdowns and was the leading tackler on the Warriors squad with 62.5 from the defensive tackle position. Junior Aric Stephan is another returnee among the running backs for the Warriors.
Junior Trevor Robbins earned all-district first team and had 52.5 tackles at linebacker. Senior Collin Johnson was named to the second team and will be a strong member of both the offensive and defensive lines. Senior Ricky Pizano and sophomore Anthony Krier are back to lead the defensive backfield.
Senior center Adam Henrich and classmate Jacob Hull, a linebacker, are also returning starters. Sophomore Logan McCoy is listed as an early leader to take over the quarterback duties this fall.
Cory Brandt returns for his 20th season as head coach and has a career record of 154-70.
The Nighthawks went 12-1 last year and won the Class 2A state title, the first in team history, by defeating Union of LaPorte City 41-22 in the championship game.
This year they return seven starters. Senior receiver and linebacker Austin Rozeboom (5-8, 175) was named to the all-state team last season as a defender. Rozeboom tallied 73.5 tackles, nine tackles for loss and two fumble recoveries. Junior linebacker Billy Rankin (6-0, 175) returns after notching 37 tackles, four tackles for loss and one fumble recovery. Junior running back and linebacker Elliot Van Kekerix (6-0, 175) ran for 246 yards and three touchdowns on offense and added 33 tackles, five tackles for loss and one fumble recovery defensively.
CENTRAL LYON/GEORGE-LITTLE ROCK
The Lions went 7-3 overall and 6-1 in Class 2A District 1 to finish runner-up in coach Toby Lorenzen's 22nd and final season at the helm for CL/GL-R. One of his assistants, Curtis Eben, takes over as head coach and lists five returning starters on offense and four on defense coming into 2017.
The Lions will have strength along the defensive line, with three of four starters back. Caleb Kramer, Matt Matuska and Austin Winkel were starters on the line last fall and combined for 102 total tackles. Eben will have to replace his entire linebacker corps as two were lost to graduation and junior Tanner Van Den Top is out for the season with an injury. Nick White, also a starter at receiver, is the lone returnee in the defensive backfield. White had 51.5 total tackles in 2016 and caught eight passes for 146 yards and a touchdown.
Junior Lucas Nagel is set to start at quarterback, splitting time under center last fall. Nagel threw for 325 yards and two touchdowns, also scoring twice each on rushing and receiving TDs. Nagel will have a strong offensive line in front of him, with four of five starters back. Seniors Ross Wiersema, Parker Metzger, Riley Scheekloth and Carson Stave bring experience up front on offense.
Eben lists junior Zed Heimensen as a potential starter in the defensive backfield and expects sophomore Carter Krull to contribute on offense. The Lions lost a 21-20 heartbreaker to Carroll Kuemper in a first-round playoff game.
The Braves will welcome nine newcomers on both offense and defense this season as they were hit hard by graduation going into the 2017 season. Coach Travis Schipper begins his sixth season at Cherokee coming off a 4-5 season last year.
Back for the Braves will be senior Tyler Zeiman (5-10, 185), who was first-team all-district and the team's leading tackler at safety with 66 last year. Zeiman is also the top returning running back. Sophomore wideout Ryan Hurd (6-4, 170) got valuable playing time last season due to injuries and will be counted on in the passing game, as well.
Junior Mason Goebel (5-8, 180) was a starter at linebacker last season and is slated to take over at quarterback this fall. Classmate Wyatt Kraft (5-9, 230) is the lone returnee on the line and will play center and defensive tackle.
Seniors Jon Youngberg (6-1, 175), Ben Hart (6-0, 190) and Chris Wharton (6-1, 185) will step up to fill both offensive and defensive line positions and will be joined by junior Treighton Schubert (5-10, 185), who will play linebacker on defense.
Sophomore Trevor Lundquist (5-9, 160) saw action at running back and safety last season in a reserve role and is expected to step into a starting spot.
Coach Chad Van Kley will have a solid core to build upon as the Monarchs look to improve on a 2-7 record from 2016. Van Kley starts his eighth season with seven returning starters on offense and five on defense.
Second-team all-district performer Evan Wiebers is back at quarterback, where he threw for 1,138 yards and nine touchdowns. Wiebers, a senior, also rushed for 411 yards and nine touchdowns to lead the Monarchs in both categories.
Seniors Parker Wessel, Jordan Torress and Juan Garcia are letterwinners set to provide protection for Wiebers on the offensive line. Senior Cam Webb is the top returning receiver with 155 yards receiving last season.
On defense, senior Jaden Langenfeld is a returning second-team all-district honoree at linebacker where he registered a team-high 64.5 tackles, including nine for loss. Seniors Jade Magnuson and Jaden Heiden are expected to anchor the defensive line, with Magnuson also listed as a probable two-way starter on the line.
Jake Irwin, the Monarchs' third-leading tackler with 38.5 is another returning linebacker while junior Cesar Rodriguez and senior Ben Pardun are back to lead the defensive backfield.
EAST SAC COUNTY
Defense is an early strength for East Sac County where six starters return with hopes of improving last year’s 3-6 record. Among the six are three linebackers, seniors Sebastian Pek (76 tackles, 9 TFL, 2 interceptions) and Reed Vondrak (78 tackles, 3 TFL) plus junior Garret Bruce (55 tackles, 4.5 TFL).
Alex Gerdes, a 6-foot, 245-pound senior, is also back after posting 58 tackles as a tackle. Gerdes will also play offense, joining classmates Tommy Gross (6-2, 250) and Tanner Hardman (6-1, 290) along with junior Brandyn Clair (6-3, 250) as two-way linemen.
Twelfth-year head coach Eric McCollough has listed no quarterback starter. Pek, Bruce and senior Marcus Green will lead the rushing attack while seniors Carter Babe and Charlie Langer top the receivers along with junior Simon Pek.
Mark Atwater starts his first season as the head coach of the Midgets this season.
Estherville Lincoln Central went 5-4 last season. After starting the season 1-4, the Midgets finished the season winning their final four games.
Senior quarterback and defensive back Evan Olesen (5-10, 185) returns after passing for 1,822 yards and 13 touchdowns while rushing for another 439 yards and five touchdowns. Junior receiver and defensive back Bennett Loock (5-10, 180) caught 31 passes for 534 yards and five touchdowns. Senior tight end and linebacker Jacob Bosch (6-0, 205) caught 21 passes for 269 yards and one touchdown. Defensively, Bosch had 75 tackles, seven tackles for loss and two sacks.
The Jays have a wealth of returning talent that greeted coach Jeremy Schindler at the start of camp, with 10 starters back on both offense and defense going into the season. Schindler begins his third campaign looking to improve on a third-place finish in Class A District 1.
Gehlen has a large presence up front in second-team all-state offensive line honoree Bryan Nohava (6-5, 275), who also had 24 tackles on defense. Nohava, a senior, is a North Dakota State football commit.
Also back to provide line support is senior Lucas McCarty (6-0, 195) who had 34.5 tackles, nine for loss. Leading tackler, senior linebacker Elijah Freking (6-1, 195) had 56.5 at linebacker and will be joined by classmates Adam Ellensohn (6-2, 205) and Eli Ellensohn (6-1, 200) on the linebacker unit.
Senior quarterback Cole Wiltgen (6-0, 175) is back to direct the offense, after passing for 1,182 yards last season. Classmate Alec Langel (6-1, 175) was Wiltgen's favorite target in 2016, hauling in 24 passes for 400 yards and a pair of touchdowns from his wideout position.
Eli Ellensohn was the Jays' leading rusher racking up 611 yards while Adam Ellensohn was close behind with 568 yards. Freking is also slated for a position in the the Gehlen backfield at fullback.
Langel was second in tackles for the Jays last season with 53.5 and will return at defensive back. Also back at the DB position are Xavier Roberts (6-2, 175) and Isaac Herbst, both seniors who also play wide receiver.
Letterwinners back to fill out the remaining line positions are seniors Chris Begnoche (6-0, 200) and John Jungers (6-2, 320) along with juniors Caden Kneip (6-3, 190), Jared Morris (6-0, 195) and Adam Schuch 6-2, 200).
Lane Gunderson returns for his 18th season as head coach and has a career record of 80-85. The Wolves went 12-1 and lost to Don Bosco in the eight-man state title game.
Harris-Lake Park returns 12 starters (six on offense, six on defense) including four that were named to the all-state team. Senior Trevor Gunderson (5-9, 170) was named first-team all-state at running back after rushing for 1,541 yards and 25 touchdowns while averaging 5.9 yards per carry. Defensively, he totaled 80.5 tackles, four tackles for loss and three interceptions.
Senior offensive guard and nose guard Braeton Nitzschke (6-2, 225) was named first-team all-state on the offensive line. Defensively, Nitzschke recorded 65.5 tackles and 10 tackles for loss.
Senior fullback and linebacker Keegan Carpenter (6-2, 175) was named second-team all-state at linebacker after finishing with 121.5 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and one interception. Offensively, Carpenter ran for 331 yards and five scores. Junior kicker Dalton Nicks (5-8, 155) was named second-team all-state after making 3 of 5 field goals and 78.7 percent of his extra points.
Senior quarterback Bryce Perkins (6-0, 177) threw for 2,123 yards and 37 touchdowns while completing 62.7 percent of his passes and was named first-team all-district. Senior tight end and defensive end Bret Sohn (6-1, 210) notched 67.5 tackles, 17 tackles for loss and five sacks. Senior guard and linebacker Zach Heikens (6-0, 175) finished with 26 tackles.
Tyler Horkey returns for his second season as head coach after a 4-5 record last year. The Hawks opened the season with four straight losses, then won four of their final five games.
HMS returns 17 starters (nine on offense, eight on defense). Senior running back and defensive back Trevor Dodd (5-9, 170) ran for 129 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns while averaging 5.4 yards per carry. Defensively, Dodd had 58.5 tackles, two tackles for loss, two sacks and a pair of fumble recoveries. Senior fullback and linebacker Bailey Wynja (6-1, 195) totaled 32.5 tackles, four tackles for loss, three sacks and one fumble recovery.
Junior quarterback and defensive back Brett Wohlert (5-11, 180) threw for 504 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 260 yards and five scores. Junior receiver and defensive back Ivan Abonce (5-10, 170) recorded 26 tackles and four interceptions.
Steve Diediker and Bruce Held return for their 35th season as co-head coaches and have a career record of 191-131. Hinton went 9-2 last season and lost to Western Christian 34-21 in the Class 1A state quarterfinals.
The Blackhawks return four offensive line starters. Senior offensive guard and defensive end Jacob Vondrak (6-1, 190) returns after being named second-team all-state and first-team all-district at defensive end. Vondrak notched 46 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and three sacks. Offensively, he had 30.5 pancake blocks. Senior offensive tackle and outside linebacker Jacob Kirwan (6-2, 220) was named first-team all-district at linebacker after totaling 48 tackles, four tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries and an interception. Offensively, he recorded 26 pancake blocks.
Senior center and nose guard Tyler Tschampel (6-0, 230) finished with 32 pancake blocks on offense and 25 tackles on defense. Junior offensive tackle and defensive end Charlie Nohr (6-2, 210) finished with 12 pancake blocks last year.
Bart Boustead returns for his fifth season as head coach and has a record of 14-22. The Panthers went 3-6 last season.
Kingsley-Pierson returns eight starters (four on offense, four on defense). Senior quarterback Cam Bainbridge (6-1, 165) returns after throwing for 1,070 yards and 17 touchdowns last season. He also added 220 rushing yards and three more scores while averaging 7.6 yards per carry. Senior running back and safety Lee Phelan (6-0, 165) ran for 869 yards and 10 touchdowns while averaging 5.4 yards per carry.
Senior wide receiver and defensive back Trey Dugan (5-10, 150) totaled 13 tackles and a fumble recovery last year. Senior running back, receiver and defensive back Payton Kuchel (6-0, 165) notched nine tackles and a fumble recovery last year.
Third-year Eagles coach Jamey Lloyd returns five starters on offense and four on defense as his squad looks to improve after a 2-7 record in 2016.
Back at quarterback will be senior Devin Johnson (6-0, 190) who split time under center a year ago and scored seven touchdowns on Lloyd's run-orientated offense. Also back is fullback Josh Wiegert (5-10, 190), a junior who was the Eagles' leading rusher with 252 yards on 54 carries last season.
Sophomore wideout Ben Thleander (6-4, 170) will offer Johnson a tall target when L-B decides to pass the ball. Also expected to see time at wide receiver is senior Michael Richards (5-10, 170). The backfield has options in seniors Vita Tonga (5-9, 180) and Jacob Roder (5-11, 170) as well as sophomore Rico Garcia (5-8. 165).
Reid Harris (6-0, 185) and Garrett Dekker (6-0, 180) are returning starters expected to once again lead the offensive line.
Seniors Austin Eihlers (5-11, 165) and Aaron Schorg (5-8, 175) are returning starters at linebacker for the Eagles, with Schorg recording 30 tackles last season. Junior Trey Boschen (5-6, 150) provides experience in the defensive backfield, where he started a year ago.
Cody Feddersen (6-1, 185) and Connor Woolridge (5-11, 190) are expected to step into starting roles on both the offensive and defensive lines, as is sophomore Hunter Sharp (6-2, 265).
David Kuhl returns seven starters on both sides of the ball from a team that went 4-5 a season ago.
The Rams have a strong offensive line led by a trio of seniors in Brandon Krusen (6-3, 290), Colton Nelson (6-2, 250) and Ben Sadler (6-3, 210). Krusen draws high praise from his coach who said he has "all-state potential" while Sadler is back for his second year as a starter and Nelson brings good athleticism to the position.
They will be protecting junior Ely Funderman as he moves from running back to quarterback. Mark Morley and Chris Ramirez are a pair of senior running backs and defensive backs that will play a key role as will Calvin Ferris and Haden Kuhl, who will be pass catchers and play defensive back and linebacker, respectively, on defense.
Cameron Boyle returns at his linebacker spot where he led the Rams a year ago with 58 tackles.
Second-year coach Grant Hegstad looks to improve after a one-win season in 2016 and will have five offensive and seven defensive starters back to build upon this season.
Returning to lead the defensive unit is all-district first-team member senior Conner Huss, who had a team-high 78.5 tackles, with 12 solos for loss from his linebacker position. Also back from the last year's linebacker unit is senior Kyle TeGrotenhuis (all-district honorable mention) and junior Gage Fischer. TeGrotenhuis was second on the Dutch tackle charts with 48.
Senior Kyle Puttman was all-district honorable mention last season and caught five touchdown passes as wide receiver and returned kickoffs last season. Puttman will also play defensive back where he made 27.5 tackles and will be joined by classmate Colton Wiersma who had 22.5 tackles.
Fischer, Huss and TeGrotenhuis all saw time at running back last fall with Fischer leading the team with 271 yards on 74 carries. Senior Carter Heemstra is set to take over the quarterback duties where he threw two touchdown passes as backup last season. TeGrotenhuis is the leading receiver returning for the Dutch with 20 catches for 374 yards.
Hegstad has a trio of returning offensive linemen to count on going into this season with Mitch Van Regenmorter, A.J. Nicholson and Taylor Johnson all back for their senior seasons.
The Mustangs will rely on returning depth as they have six starters back both on offense and defense for 17th-year coach Brian Wilken to work with entering the 2017 season. A year ago Newell-Fonda advanced to the eight-man playoffs after finishing second in District 1.
One key position Wilken will need to replace is quarterback, where Reed Kruse earned second-team all-state honors, scoring 29 touchdowns while passing for 15 more. Juniors Michael Melohn (5-9, 135) and Damon Bartek (5-10, 150) were among the potential starting signal callers.
Offensive linemen Brett Wells (6-0, 225) and Jacob Carlson (6-0, 220), both seniors, are back to anchor a line that Wilken calls a strength of his squad. Senior tight end Jake Davis (6-3, 200) is also back to shore up the line while leading receiver Nate Pedersen will start at split end where he caught nine touchdown passes last year.
Seniors Jesse Haack (5-9, 180) and Austin Geedes (5-10, 160) are back at the tailback position, where they combined for 11 touchdowns and 717 yards rushing a year ago. Junior fullback R.J. Rojas (6-1, 196) is also a returning starter in the backfield.
Haack was the Mustangs' leading tackler at linebacker in 2017 with 82.5 total while Davis and Carlson will also be counted on to provide pressure on opposing quarterbacks this fall on the defensive line.
Pedersen and Gerdes will be joined by classmate Cody Holtgrewe (5-11, 185) as returnees in the defensive back field. Holtgrewe and Gerdes had four interceptions apiece to lead the Mustangs last season.
Ar-We-Va downed the Mustangs 57-56 in a wild first-round playoff game, ending a 7-3 campaign.
Larry Allen returns for his 18th season as head coach and has a record of 95-75. The Falcons finished 3-6 last season after starting 0-5.
OA-BCIG returns 11 starters (five on offense, six on defense). Senior running back and defensive back Chase Devitt (5-11, 185) ran for 1,018 yards and scored nine touchdowns last year. Senior tight end and linebacker Isaac Endrulat (6-2, 185) finished with a team-leading 63.5 tackles and also added an interception.
Senior offensive tackle and defensive end Tyler Anderson (6-3, 220) recorded 23 tackles on defense. Senior running back and linebacker Ryan Bumann (6-1, 175) caught a pair of touchdown passes and notched 31 tackles. Junior quarterback Kaden Ludwig (6-0, 155) threw for 1,041 yards and 10 touchdowns.
REMSEN ST. MARY’S
Ryan Hajek returns for his second season as head coach after finishing with a 6-3 record last season.
The Hawks return 11 starters (five on offense, six on defense). Senior wide receiver and defensive back Carter Kuchel (6-2, 180) returns after finishing with 34 receptions for 620 yards and six touchdowns last season. Kuchel also added 263 rushing yards and six more scores while averaging 7.5 yards per carry. Defensively, Kuchel had 18.5 tackles, two interceptions and a fumble recovery.
Senior running back Canaan Cox (5-8, 165) is a transfer student from North Carolina and said by Hajek to be very explosive.
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Senior quarterback Derrick Schorg (6-4, 170) threw for 1,112 yards and 14 touchdowns. Senior wide receiver and defensive end Brett Galles (6-1, 200) finished with 35 tackles, six tackles for loss and four sacks.
The Raptors return a smaller number of starters and letterwinners than its opponents in Class A District 2 but first-year coach Dale Tokheim is still optimistic of a strong group of newcomers to blend with experience.
Ridge View returns three offensive and four defensive starters but will welcome back the presence of University of Iowa verbal commit junior lineman Ezra Miller (6-7, 310), who earned all-district first-team honors year ago.
Speedy senior Jake Mitchell (5-9, 166), also returns at running back where he was first-team all-district in 2016. Joining him in the backfield will be junior fullback Jake Kliegl (6-1, 210), who also had 54.5 tackles at linebacker.
Junior Jacob Tokheim (6-3, 165), a four-sport letterwinner, will direct the offense at quarterback this fall and will also return as starting safety. Senior Jaxon Franken (5-10, 170), also a baseball and basketball Western Valley Conference team member, will be a top target for Tokheim at wide receiver.
Set to join Miller on the line will be seniors guard/linebacker Trentin Moeller (5-7,175) and tackle/defensive lineman Colin Cuthrell (6-2, 238) along with juniors Andrew Brockman (6-2, 264) and Karlo Weldon (5-10, 262). Junior Austin Degen (6-0, 166) is also a returnee who played tight end and in the defensive backfield last season.
Brad Gralheer returns for his fourth season after the Wolverines finished 0-9 last year.
River Valley returns 13 starters (seven on offense, six on defense). Junior offensive and defensive linemen Hunter Deeds (6-0, 245) and Tayden Redenius (6-0, 255) both return. Deeds finished with 50.5 tackles, eight tackles for loss, four sacks and one fumble recovery last season. Redenius notched 41 tackles and four tackles for loss.
Junior running back and defensive back Dom Schirmer (5-10, 155) ran for 401 yards and five touchdowns last year and also added 38 tackles. Senior running back and defensive back Creighton Casey (5-9, 155) totaled 39 tackles and an interception.
Tyler Lloyd enters his third season leading the Orabs coming off a 4-5 campaign where they dropped five of their last six games.
Lloyd will have the services of second-team all-state lineman and South Dakota State commit Ryan Van Marel and second-team all-state receiver Philip Cain at his disposal.
Van Marel, 6-5, 245-pounds, led the Orabs with 104.5 tackles a year ago, including 92 solo stops. He also had a pair of sacks. Cain, a fellow senior, led all of Class 2A with 67 receptions and 1,036 receiving yards.
Sheldon has five starters back on both sides of the ball. That list includes senior quarterback Jaden Kleinhesselink, who threw for 1,835 yards and 17 touchdowns. Junior Tyler Lode is back after averaging 31 yards per kick return and scoring two TDs last season.
Coach Dan Spooner begins his second season for the Generals after a 3-6 season a year ago and a 2-5 mark in Class 1A District 1. Spooner has eight returning starters on offense and seven on defense to build from in the upcoming season.
Senior quarterback Preston Marco (6-0, 180) is back under center after throwing for 1,131 yards and eight touchdowns last season. Classmate Colvin Jenness (5-8, 150) was the leading receiver last fall for S-O with 419 yards on 20 catches. Senior Cole Newman (5-8, 150) is another returning wideout for the Generals along with Thomas Doeden (5-7, 150) and Nick Buysman (6-0, 245), both seniors.
Junior Dalton Marco (6-1, 240) returns to form the foundation of the offensive line. Also joining him up front will be senior letter winners Brayden Bruxvoort (6-4, 365) and Ryan Golombiecki (5-10, 185). Sophomore Gage Noyes (5-11, 165) is set to anchor the linebacker unit while fellow 10th-grader Bret Ortiz (220, 190) will add depth to the defensive line. Buysman, Newman, Jenness and Doeden will make up the Sibley-Ocheyedan defensive backfield.
Tim Van Regenmorter returns for his 10th season and has a career record of 56-39. The Warriors went 5-4 last year. After starting 1-3, they won four of their final five games.
Sioux Center returns 13 starters (six on offense, seven on defense). Senior tight end and defensive end Brendon Zeutenhorst caught 24 passes for 256 yards and three touchdowns. Defensively, he finished with 18 tackles, five tackles for loss and one sack. Senior running back and linebacker Dalton Schreiner was named to the all-district team. Schreiner ran for 648 yards and six touchdowns while adding 23 tackles and two interceptions. Senior quarterback and free safety Tyus Arends threw for 773 yards and 10 touchdowns. Defensively, Arends had 33 tackles and two interceptions.
Senior offensive lineman Trajon Walhof started all nine games and was named to the all-district team last season.
Coach Brandon Goodchild will look to move up in competitive Class A District 2 this season after finishing 2-5 a year ago and 3-6 overall. A three-game losing streak ended the season, where the Rebels lost four games by an average of five points.
Sioux Central will have second-team all-district offensive lineman Carter Beckman, a 210-pound athlete, also back on the defensive line where the senior was second on the team with 46 tackles last season. Another senior, 180-pound Caden Krager will anchor the defensive backfield, where he made 31.5 tackles last season, and will play wideout on offense.
Senior Jake Gasperi and junior Ben Hargens are letterwinners who have experience at the running back position. Goodchild was undecided on quarterback going into camp this season.
Junior defensive lineman Preston Samson had 36.5 tackles last season and will join Beckman on the line. Letterwinners also back on both the offensive and defensive lines are seniors Zach Lundquist, Chase Birdsall, Cole Siebrect and Trey Phillips.
SOUTH CENTRAL CALHOUN
Bryan Case returns for his eighth season as head coach of South Central Calhoun and has a career record of 130-43. The Titans went 7-3 last year and lost to Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley 49-10 in the opening round of the Class 2A playoffs.
The Titans return nine starters (four on offense, five on defense) and four all-district players. Senior offensive guard and defensive tackle Tyler Jones (6-3, 280) was named all-district last year and finished with 54 tackles, three tackles for loss and one sack. Senior quarterback and defensive back Hunter Muhlbauer (6-0, 175) was named all-district. Offensively, he threw for 1,291 yards and 17 touchdowns while running for 209 yards and two scores. Defensively, Muhlbauer recorded 19.5 tackles and three interceptions.
Junior receiver and defensive back Chase McAlister (6-0, 165) was named all-district. Defensively, McAlister recorded 36 tackles, two tackles for loss and three interceptions. On offense, McAlister caught eight passes for 192 yards and three touchdowns. Senior fullback and linebacker Jonathon Frantz (6-0, 195) was named all-district after rushing for 395 yards and six touchdowns while adding another 10 catches for 163 yards and one score.
The Class A District 2 runner-up Wolverines return a good core for coach Mark Fuhrman as eight offensive and seven defensive players are back for the 2017 season.
Leading the way will be senior Carson Louscher (6-3, 200) who was a first-team all-state honoree at defensive back, where he intercepted nine passes to lead Class A. Louscher will direct the offense at quarterback, a unit that featured now-graduated running back Sam Nelson, who rushed for 1,720 yards in 2016.
Junior Adam Richter (6-6, 310) is back for his third year as a starter on both the offensive and defensive lines. Senior fullback Drew Faust (5-11, 200) also returns in the backfield, where he rushed for 315 yards and scored six touchdowns last season.
Senior Clayton Leng (5-10, 160) is back at tight end on offense and will also play strong safety on defense. Joining him in the defensive backfield will be classmate John Weaver (5-4, 130), who will also see action at wide receiver.
Juniors Luke Jenness (6-1, 200), Evan Dau (6-2, 245) and Hunter Erwin (5-11, 250) will make up the foundation of the offensive line as well playing on the defensive front. Jenness made five solo tackles for loss to lead the Wolverines last season.
Jim Tighe returns for his 15th season and has a career record of 89-94. The Tigers went 4-5 last season.
Spencer returns 11 starters (six on offense, five on defense). Senior quarterback Cade Hopkins (5-8, 140) ran for 402 yards and five touchdowns last season. Senior running back and linebacker Brendan Ellis (5-6, 160) averaged 7.0 yards per carry on offense and tallied 28.5 tackles on defense.
Senior running back and cornerback Cooper Fox (5-9, 180) ran for 725 yards and six touchdowns while averaging 9.9 yards per carry. Defensively, Fox notched 26.5 tackles and had one interception. Senior offensive lineman and linebacker Jacob Brouwer (6-2, 230) also returns.
The Tornadoes return in 2017 after winning the Class 3A District 1 title for the first time after a perfect regular season. Coach Rudy Wieck will welcome back seven starters on offense and five on defense as he looks to build off the breakthrough season.
Storm Lake returns a pair of third-team all-state honorees, with offensive lineman Jorge Sandoval (6-3, 300) and linebacker Brayden Hoops (6-0, 185) back for their senior seasons. Hoops made 87.5 tackles for the Tornadoes, second to safety Kevin Duque (5-10, 175), who had 89.0 and also returns.
Duque, a senior who played running back last season, is slated to play quarterback when Storm Lake has the ball. Hoops returns as fullback and will be joined by senior Lamar Mulgae (5-9, 155) and junior Manny Chavez (5-7, 155) in the backfield.
Seniors Joe Vega (6-2, 225), Mickey Vasquez (5-7, 226), Chris Shima (5-5, 145) and Dalton Lullman (6-2, 291) are back at line positions. They will be joined by juniors Kail Shannon (6-3, 270) and Luxes Inthamath (5-10, 200).
Second-year coach Josh Van Kempen is still looking for his initial varsity win after his team went 0-9 in 2016. Van Kempen will have plenty of returning starters to try to get that first win starting with a Saturday game against West Sioux at Elwood Olsen Stadium in Sioux City.
Unity Christian will have a new starting quarterback in Brandon Visser, a 6-foot-3, 185-pound senior, who is also set to play defensive back where he led the Knights with 57.5 tackles and two interceptions.
Senior Sam Byker (6-1, 170) is the Knights leading returning receiver with 21 catches for 251 yards last season while classmate Adam Viet (6-0, 170) is also back at wide receiver, making seven catchers for 104 yards. Carter Schiebout, Unity's second-leading rusher in 2016 with 204 yards on 65 totes, will also play linebacker.
Senior Josh Dragstra (5-10, 175) was a receiving threat out of the backfield for the Knights last season, catching eight passes for 78 yards while rushing for 103 yards on 35 carries. He will also play linebacker where he had 18.5 tackles.
Seniors Trey Hulstein (6-3. 240) and Adam Louwerse (5-11, 180) are projected as two-way starters on both offense and defensive lines. Louwerse had 26.5 tackles last fall.
Junior Bryce Huitink (6-0, 220) is also slated as a two-way starter on both lines while senior Drew Vreugdenhil (5-11, 185) is a returning letterwinner set to play on the offensive line and linebacker, where he made 34 tackles last season.
Jay Rozeboom returns for his 26th season as head coach and has a career record of 242-47. West Lyon went 7-3 last year losing to Western Christian 28-6 in the opening round of the Class 1A playoffs.
The Wildcats return 16 starters (nine on offense, seven on defense). Senior quarterback and defensive back Jaden Snyder threw for 759 yards and nine touchdowns while running for 484 yards and four scores. Defensively, Snyder notched 20.5 tackles, one tackle for loss and two interceptions. He was named first-team all-state as a kicker after making 6 of 9 field goals, with a long of 43, and 94.7 percent of his extra points.
Senior fullback and linebacker Monte Pottebaum (6-2, 220) returns after totaling 59 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, two sacks and one interception on defense last year. Senior running back and defensive lineman Mitchell Rentschler (6-1, 210) ran for 631 yards and five scores on offense while totaling 25 tackles and a tackle for loss on defense.
Senior offensive lineman and linebacker Tanner Oleson (6-0, 200) registered 33 tackles, five tackles for loss and one sack. Senior tight end and defensive lineman Zach DeSmet (6-2, 230) logged 30.5 tackles and six tackles for loss.
Coach Drew Potter will welcome back nine starters on both offense and defense as the Spartans look to pick up their first district win since 2014. West Monona won its opener 18-0 over Riverside in a non-district game before dropping its final eight games.
Returning to bolster the Spartan offensive line are four-year starters Wyatt Schoenherr (5-11, 178) and Marco Duarte (6-0, 186), who will serve as the team's co-captains this season. Schoenherr, who plays linebacker on defense, led the team with 47.5 tackles while Duarte had 37.5 tackles, including 10 for loss from the defensive end spot.
West Monona returns its top four rushers from a year ago, with sophomores Keegan Holverson (5-11, 201) and Darius Gashe (5-9, 195) joined in the backfield by senior Dawson Richardson (5-10, 181) and junior Dylan Collison (5-10, 165).
Richardson will anchor the middle of the defensive line at nose tackle and will be joined by Holverson and sophomore Dylan Stroman.
Gashe and junior Wesley Hanson (5-10, 181) will complete the linebacker corp while junior Seth Watson (5=10, 164) and senior Blake DeRocher (5-11, 168) will join juniors Calvin Coffman (5-11, 171) and Collison to make up the defensive backfield.
Coffman was the second-leading tackler on the team last season with 40.5.
The Falcons appear set for a big season with all but one returning starter back from a 9-2 season and a quarterfinal round berth in the Class A playoffs. West Sioux dropped a 21-14 decision to Council Bluffs St. Albert last season and won District 1 with a 6-1 record.
Ryan Schwiesow begins his fifth year in Hawarden as the head coach with a 32-12 record. The Falcons return first-team all-state honoree Jake Lynott for his senior year. Lynott, a 6-foot, 180-pounder, will be moving to tailback this season after performing as quarterback last fall.
Lynott completed 66 of 118 passes for 889 yards and was a 1,390-yard rusher with 19 touchdowns. Sophomore Hunter Dekkers (6-2, 205) will fill the quarterback duties this season, where he passed for 951 yards and nine touchdowns as a freshman, splitting time under center with Lynott.
Another first-team all-state player back is senior offensive lineman Darlyn Marquez (5-11, 240) who will be the foundation of a line that guided its running backs to 6.8 yards per carry and 39 rushing scores last season.
Junior tight end Chase Koopmans (6-2, 205) was the leading receiver for the Falcons last year, pulling down 26 passes for 448 yards. Senior wideout Zach Hulshof (6-2, 195) caught 19 passes for 287 yards while junior Victor Hernandez also returns at wideout.
Junior Conner Koopmans, a second-team all-state defensive lineman is the foundation of a defensive unit that returns intact. A 5-10, 240-pound junior, he had 32 tackles and 15 for loss last season.
Seniors Wyatt Johnson (5-10, 220) and Michael Trageser (6-2, 215) will be joined by junior Jared Nohava (5-11, 215) to complete the offensive line. Senior Zach McKee (5-11, 215) and junior Trevor Schuller (5-11, 180) are listed as starters at linebacker, along with Chase Koopmans and Hulshoff. The Falcons defensive backfield is made up of junior Drake Millikan (5-7, 170) along with sophomores Austin Wilbert (5-9, 165) and Kade Lynott (5-11, 170).
Travis Kooima returns for his 12th season as the head coach of Western Christian and has a record of 68-50. The Wolfpack went 12-1 last season and defeated Iowa City Regina 47-34 in the Class 1A state championship game.
Western Christian returns eight starters (four on offense, four on defense). Senior running back and linebacker Ben Granstra (6-3, 195) is a four-year starter and was named to the all-state team as a running back. Granstra rushed for 1,809 yards and 23 touchdowns while averaging 7.1 yards per carry. Defensively, he recorded 33.5 tackles, two tackles for loss and one interception.
Junior linebacker Micah Uittenbogaard (6-1, 190) notched 44.5 tackles, two tackles for loss, two sacks and one fumble recovery. Senior free safety Carter Wibben (5-10, 160) totaled 25.5 tackles and five interceptions.
Junior offensive and defensive lineman Dawson VanSchepen (6-3, 200) started at left guard last year. Senior fullback and linebacker Daniel Donovan (5-10, 200) tallied 27.5 tackles last season.
The Rebels will look to improve on a fourth-place finish in Class A District 1 last fall as Coach Cass Burkhart welcomes six starters on both offense and defense back to start his sixth season..
The Rebels lost 1,291-yard rusher Drew Anderson and starting quarterback Kody Berg to graduation, so will have to fill some key skilled positions before their first game with OA-BCIG Saturday at Elwood Olsen Stadium in Sioux City. Anderson and Berg rushed for a combined 28 touchdowns in their senior seasons.
Junior Sean Westergaard (5-10, 145) will step up from backup quarterback to starter this fall. Westergaard got 15 carries at running back last fall and had 133 yards and two touchdowns, including a 70-yard run.
Third-team all-state honoree Richard Dandurand (6-2, 215) will be a key returnee for Burkhart on both the offensive and defensive lines. Dandurand, a senior, had 30.5 tackles and 8 solo tackles for loss.
Dandurand will have plenty of experience on the line around him, with juniors Trenton Dirks (6-1, 235) and Harrison East (6-4, 200) back for their second seasons as starters.
Senior Nathan Payne (6-0, 270) is a two-year starter who is a standout at defensive tackle according to Burkhart. Payne had 16.5 tackles last season but often commanded double teams that freed up other defenders. Classmate Hunter Folsom (5-8, 190) is another lineman back for his second year as a starter.
Senior Drew Brekke is back at wideout where he had 165 yards receiving and a touchdown and Jacob Miller (6-4, 195) is also back for his senior season, also returning as a linebacker on defense.
Senior defensive end Jeremiah Adams (6-2, 190) and linebacker J.T. Gengler (6-1, 180) are also returning starters for the Rebels, who were 4-3 in district last fall after winning both of their non-district tilts.
The Wildcats fell a win shy of a playoff berth last season, finishing in a tie for second in Class A District 1 but they did not qualify due to a loss to Akron-Westfield, the other runner-up in the district. Coach Curt Lilly starts his third season as the Woodbury Central leader and will have to replace much of his offensive skill players from last season.
Gone to graduation is leading rusher Alec Still, who ran for over 1,000 yards and quarterback Dawson Peterson.
Back to shore up the offensive and defensive lines with experience is senior Kurt Countryman, a 6-2, 278-pound player who was second on the team with 52.5 tackles and is high on the lists of college recruiters. Sophomore Wade Mitchell (5-9, 150) is back and expects to get some carries at running back as well as linebacker where he made 32 tackles last fall.
Senior Carter Schultzen (5-11, 150) is listed as quarterback going into the season and also saw time at defensive back a year ago.
Woodbury Central should be solid in the kicking game with senior Nick Phelps leading the way. Phelps averaged 39.3 yards per punt last season and converted on 16 of 20 PAT kicks.
Also returning on the offensive line and at linebacker is senior Jake Dennison (5-10, 185). Classmate Brandon Stender (6-0, 165) is back at wide receiver where he caught a team-high 11 passes for 161 yards. Stender is also set to play on the defensive line, as is returning starter Christopher Mandl (5-11, 165).
Seniors Colton Herbold (5-9, 155) and Patrick Carney (6-2, 175) are back to shore up the defensive backfield with both set to play running back on offense as well.