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BREAKING NEWS

Bucs to open season at Jackson

By Staff | Aug 23, 2008

The Blue Earth Area football team opens its season on the road Aug. 29 against Jackson County Central. Pictured, front (left to right) Cody Theobald, Matt Dulas, Trey Dyslin, Harlan Wittlieff, Dylan O’Rourke, Erik Zingler, D.J. Gronewald, Dalton Hurn, Devon Jahnke, Connor Hanson and Jared Brown. Second row, Justin Duelge, Collin Nienhaus, Joe Franta, Daniel Eckhardt, Jake Evans, Cody Eckhardt, Dillon Haglund, Clinton Nienhaus, Jake Wirtjes and Jacob McNamara. Third row, Bjorn Olson, Jake Lee, Taylor Andrews, Ryan Ihle, Garret Anderson, Jared Smith, Ryan Pope, Nathan Carr, Tanner O’Rourke, Sander Hahn and Gerardo Alonzan. Fourth row, Daniel Plocker, Nick Lee, Mat Willner, Charlie Garlick, Brenden Christensen, Jacob Black, Brad Omland, Taylor Owen, Sinjin Bell and A.J. Alleven. Missing: Zach Tvedten, Cody Klinksiek and Santos Flores.

The defending South Central Conference champion Blue Earth Area Bucs football team opens the 2008 campaign this coming Friday, Aug. 29 at Jackson County Central.

The non-conference game is the first in an eight game schedule and will be a good test for the Bucs, who graduated a lot of talented seniors off of last year’s team. While JCC also graduated a number of players, they do have their quarterback and receivers returning.

Things are definitely different for the Bucs as there will not be someone named Becker taking snaps for the first time in five years and Garrett Mensing is not around to bust a long one with his speed.

Gabe Sturtz, Tom More, and Dan Lyke are not present to open up holes and protect the quarterback. John Franta and Blake Anderson won’t be there to stuff the run from their linebacker position, the coaches say.

While those players are gone, they did leave something behind. That something was an example of hard work and striving for success.

Leading the way will be 16 returning letter winners. The squad itself is comprised of 14 seniors, 12 juniors and 18 sophomores.

“We only return one starter on defense,” notes Coach Randy Kuechen-meister. “We don’t have a lot of experience, so they have been working hard on getting experience in practice.”

Nick Lee had been projected as the starting quarterback but a knee injury this summer will keep him out for the season. Dalton Hurn and Garrett Anderson have stepped in to be the signal callers.

Coach Kuechenmeister feels most people are looking at Fairmont as the team to beat.

“New Ulm has the most kids back, and St. Peter has a lot of kids coming back,” Kuechenmeister comments, “While Waseca, like us, graduated a lot of kids.”

So while it seems this could be a tough year for Blue Earth Area, one never knows for sure. It was only two short years ago that many people looked at the players who had graduated the year before and thought things would be real tough.

What did that team do? Not much, except to qualify for the state playoffs and come within one win of going to the Metrodome.

The results this year might not be the same as that but as the team gains more experience during the year they could prove to be a tough team to beat.

“The kids are working hard,” says Kuechenmeister. “We’re optimistic.”

Following their opening game at Jackson the Bucs return home for a non-conference game against Windom-Area on Sept. 5. They start their conference schedule by hosting New Ulm on Sept. 12.