Running back Jacob Cheadle led the backs through a running drill over dummies during the first practice of the new season on Monday morning. Staff Photo by Byron Higgin.
By Byron Higgin, Mascot Sports Editor
A year ago Minneota Coach Chad Johnston had a pile of good players and hopes for a great season.
Now, the defending Minneota State Class C champions are sure of one thing: “We won’t be taking anyone by surprise,” said Coach Johnston.
Minneota’s 2010 version of Viking football returns veterans, many in key positions, but has some vital spots to fill: namely quarterback, where Sam Derynck tossed 34 touchdown passes last year; tailback-receiver, where Tony Noyes became the area’s Most Valuable Player and tight and defensive end Will Kurka, who played in the summer all-star game.
Also gone is Mike Hammer, who was on his way to numerous post-season teams had he not torn his knee up in the playoffs.
Others such as Adam Longtin, Justin Fox and others are also gone.
But back are a crop of key players who made a difference last year.
Beau Buysse is the heir apparent quarterback and along with powerful running back Brandon Anderson and speedy Jacob Cheadle there’s plenty of reason to believe the Vikings will be able to run the ball.
“Beau has looked real good at quarterback,” said Coach Johnston, who is doing the somewhat unsual, and that’s hand the leadership position to a senior.