Brandon Anderson gets a cool drink of water at a
Minneota football practice.
By Byron Higgin
This is what you dream about.
Most of your seniors are back, you have great numbers, about 57 players on the field, and excitement is running at a fever pitch.
Minneota football head Coach Chad Johnston sent his players onto the field for their first official practice Monday and said. “We have very high expectations.”
With only four seniors gone from last year’s squad, which took second in the sectionals to eventual state champion Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg, the coach added, “We’ll work off what we had last year.
“A year ago KMS was situated where we are this year,” the coach said.
One of the problems the Vikings had last year was moving players around to fill holes caused by injuries.
“We found out last year that depth is the key. At crucial times we had kids who moved to several positions. One kid played four different positions,” Coach Johnston said.
“The kids are able to make adjustments,” and that should be the key to success.
Not that it will be easy.
Coach Johnston expects Dawson-Boyd to re-tool for this year, for MACCRAY to come loaded for bear and Adrian to respond with another good ball club.
And there’s likely to be others amongst the 12-team Little Sioux Conference that would like to upset Minneota’s hopes and dreams.
Renville County West and Lakeview have been added to the conference so each team will play nine of the 12 conference schools.
“We’re finally in a good position with the numbers and the class of athletes we have, that we build for,” said Coach Johnston.
Minneota’s squad has been build by using a home-town program and graduates of the school as coaches, such as assistant Matt Myrvik and assistant Steve Sussner.
The backfield is keyed with returning talent such as quarterback Sam Derynck, a three-and-a-half-year starter who is now a senior.
He has Jacob Cheadle and Tony Noyes as tailbacks to lug the ball and fullback Brandon Anderson, whom Coach Johnson said was, “The nicest surprise we had last year.”
The team will open the season at 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 3 at home against Adrian.