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Bucs open gridiron season hosting USC

By Staff | Aug 29, 2010

The 2010 Buccaneer football team (and cheerleaders) includes: Row one; Christina Anderson, Conner Hanson, Collin Nienhaus, Joe Franta, Zach Tvedten, Student Manager Eliana Johnson, Bucky the Mascot, Trey Dyslin, Taylor Owen, Travis Hagedorn, Daniel Plocker, Katelyn Rosamond. Row two; Zoe Thompson, Matt Dulas, Brady Anderson, Carter Hanson, Eric Spellman, Chris Ramos, Devon Jahnke, Nichole Flynn. Row three; Kelsey Welsch, Sam Lee, Dallas Barslou, Denis Mantel, Santos Flores, Dalton Hurn, Blaine Haugen, Nick Beattie, Jonah Pirsig, Jake Wagner, Alexis Brooks. Row four; Emily Hynes, Micah Twedt, Brandyn Olsen, Zac Bartlett, Brad More, Josh Johnson, Jacob Olson, Taylor Olson, Steven Plocker, Christian Haugh, Natasha Scheler. Row five; Kelsey Engesser, Mason Meier, Ben Ehlert, Andy Wiggern, Jacob Black, Garrett Christensen, Tyler Schonrock, Molly Omland. Missing from photo; Brenden Christensen, Isaac Darrington.

The recent cool nights have signaled that fall is just around the corner – and with that the start of the 2010 football season.

Practice began Aug. 16 for the Blue Earth Area Buccaneers, runners-up in the South Central Conference in 2009 with a 4-1 record.

The Bucs return only three starters on offense and five starters on defense, but they have a number of players returning with game experience.

“A big key for us this year will be avoiding injuries,” notes coach Randy Kuechenmeister, who begins his 20th season as head coach for the Bucs.

The Bucs squad is composed of 15 seniors, 11 juniors, 13 sophomores, and 22 freshman.

The seniors are led by last years’ leading rusher, Zach Tvedten. Tvedten will have a new quarterback handing the ball off to him this year, as senior Taylor Owen and junior Brady Anderson compete for the job of signal caller.

Seniors Joe Franta, Collin Nienhaus, and Dalton Hurn also bring experience to the receiver position.

Other seniors on the Bucs’ squad are Jacob Black, Brenden Christensen, Matt Dulas, Trey Dyslin, Ben Ehlert, Santos Flores, Devon Jahnke, Travis Hagedorn, Daniel Plocker, and foreign exchange student, Denis Mantel.

The Bucs open their season with a non-conference game, hosting cross-county rival USC at Wilson Field Sept. 3. USC won last year’s contest 34-21.

“USC got up on us fast last year, and it was hard to recover,” says Kuechenmeister. “We had too many turnovers early – it’s hard to overcome that many turnovers.”

The Bucs travel to Waseca the following week to begin SCC play, and then host St. Peter on Sept. 17.

Homecoming will be Sept. 24, with St. James coming to town.

The Bucs go on the road again Oct. 1, when they travel to New Ulm to take on the Eagles.

The battle for the “Little Brown Jug” will be Oct. 8, when the Bucs travel to Fairmont. They then return home the following week, to take on Waseca in a non-conference game.

A trip to St. Peter on Wednesday, Oct. 20 closes out the regular season. Section quarter finals begin Tuesday, Oct. 26.

Fairmont has won the conference the last two years and, according to coach Kuechenmeister, will be the team to beat this year.

“Fairmont and Waseca will be the top contenders,” comments Kuechenmeister. “St. James should be much improved with a lot of their starters back.”

“I’m really looking forward to this season,” states Kuechenmeister. “The kids are working hard to improve and get better.”