“We are focusing on trying to be the best we can be,” says 21-year BEA head coach Randy Kuechenmeister. “We just want to improve from now until the first game.”
The Bucs have eight regular season games slated in 2011, and are preparing for the season opener Sept. 2 at United South Central High School in Wells.
BEA is looking to improve upon their 6-4 record last season where they advanced to the section 2AAA semifinals.
The Bucs will return five starters on offense and three players on defense from last year’s squad.
University of Minnesota recruit, Jonah Pirsig, will anchor the offensive and defensive lines for the Bucs.
The 6-foot-9, 285 pound lineman will protect the quarterbacks blindside at left tackle and will control the wide side of the field at defensive end.
Starting quarterback Brady Anderson will return as the signal caller for the Bucs. He will be protected by three experienced linemen.
Tyler Schonrock will play center, Sam Lee will split time at guard and tackle and Pirsig will be back at left tackle.
“We have a lot of key people back,” Kuechenmeister says. “Now we just need to mesh as a group.”
Carter Hanson will be the primary ball carrier on offense replacing last year’s leading rusher Zach Tvedten.
The Bucs are looking forward to taking the field every Friday for what’s shaping up to be a competitive conference race.
Kuechenmeister says Fairmont will be the South Central Conference favorite with Waseca and St. Peter also contending for the title.
“Every team is supposed to be much improved,” Kuechenmeister says. “It should be an interesting race.”
This doesn’t mean the coach is counting out the Bucs’ chances.
“Our goal, just like everybody else’s, is to win the conference,” Kuechenmeister says. “That’s always something we strive for.”
To win the SCC title, the Bucs must face concerns about the depth of their team, playing mistake-free football and avoiding injury.
“Staying injury free is always a challenge,” Kuechenmeister says. “We also want to limit our turnovers on offense.”
The Bucs have managed to make it through pre-season camp relatively injury free.
“We don’t have any season ending injuries at the moment, just the nagging type of things that always occur this time of year,” Kuechenmeister says.
The Bucs will play four of their eight regular season tilts at home in 2011.
After the season opener at USC, the Bucs will return to Blue Earth to face off against St. Paul Highland Park.
The following Friday, the hometown team will travel to Windom to take on the Windom Area Eagles.
Blue Earth will return Sept. 23, to host homecoming against New Ulm.
On the last Friday of September, the Bucs will travel to preseason conference title contender, Waseca.
St. Peter will come to town on Oct. 7 for the first Friday night in October.
The Battle for the “Little Brown Jug” will be Oct. 14 when Fairmont invades Wilson Field.
The final regular season game will take place at St. James Wednesday, Oct. 14 with the playoffs scheduled to start the following Tuesday in a location yet to be determined.
“The kids have been working hard,” Kuechenmeister says. “They have a good attitude and are a great group to work with.”
Pictured, first row (left to right), Zac Bartlett, Josh Johnson, Jakob Rintelen, Jonah Pirsig, Brady Anderson, Sam Lee, Carter Hanson, Andrew Bell, Mason Meier, Tyler Schonrock, Eric Spellman and Jacob Olson. Second row, John Bosshart, Daniel Krieger, Dallas Barslou, Kysten Zierke, Garrett Christensen, Andy Wigern, Jacob Pettit, Steven Plocker, Taylor Olson, Nick Beattie and Chris Ramos. Third row, Jacob Peterson, Austin Gustafson, Seth Anderson, Dakota Jahnke, Quinn Huisman, Justin Ritter, Christian Haugh, Micah Twedt, Brett Duit and Brandyn Olsen. Fourth row, Alex Stewart, Jared Hassing, Calvin Sanders, David Franta, Isaac Darrington, Brad More, Brett Nowak, Trevor Zierke, Chance Andrews and Dustin Anderson. Fifth row, assistant coaches Travis Armstrong and Shawn Gudahl; head coach Randy Kuechenmeister; and assistant coaches Brian Kokos, Jay Frederickson and Doug Storbeck. Missing from photo, Greg Claeys.