Football team hopes to shine behind big line


Bigger and better! A bigger and more experienced group of linemen will lead the push for Sibley East’s football team which began preparing for its 2010 campaign last week in Arlington.

Chuck Hartman, who is in his third year as head coach of the Wolverines, said one of the team’s strengths this season should be running the football. That will be done behind a “big line” which averages at least 250-pounds, according to Hartman.

Sibley East’s front five linemen were regulars a season ago. Headlining the list are seniors Teddy DuFrane and Ali Pedraza who received all-conference honorable mention in 2009. Seniors Orlando Castillo and Ben Melsha, and junior Dalton Webster are the other top linemen returning for the Wolverines this season.

Hartman said the 2010 version of the Wolverines will also have depth in the backfield. Lucas Herd, who played wide receiver last season, is expected to be the starting quarterback. The running back group will feature Tyler Pasvogel, Michael Bullert, Logan Reid and Lucas Schwope. McKoy Rodning, another returning starter, will play tight end for the Wolverines.

Sibley East’s offense in recent years has been highlighted by big passing plays but Hartman said the 2009 squad did rush for nearly 2,000 yards.

“We will need to concentrate on running the ball even more this year,” Hartman said. “There was improvement in the ground game last year but our passing is what bailed us out at times. This year we are going to need to be consistent in the ground game to be successful.”

DuFrane, Rodning, Castillo and Herd are the captains this season. They are among 18 returning letterwinners on the team. Others include: seniors Nick Thies, Pedraza, Melsha, Robert Harter, Isia Flores, Mike Boe and Bullert; juniors Webster, Schwope, Tanner Walsh, Pasvogel, Reid, Caleb Ling and Kyle Goetsch.

More than 60 players in grades 9-12 have been running through preseason drills in Arlington. The crew includes:

Senior – Ignacio Gonzalez;

Juniors – Devin Salinas, Brandon Voigt, Ed Reichenbach, Mads Aeroe, Darin Peterson, Robert Jackels, Brandon Traxler;

Sophomores – Cody Swenson, Levi Salinas, Clay Mogard, Aaron Bates, Nathan Thomes, Nolan Osborne, Devin Mahon, Dylan Lieske, Tyler Kratzke, Logan Highland, Jordan Herd, Michael Henderson, Steven Haefs, Andrew Grack, Austin Frauendienst, Ethan Effertz, Miah DuFrane, Shayne Danielson, Zach Bostelman, Alex Battcher, Tyler Bates, Brandon Ashton;

Freshmen – Aaron Luskey, Aaron Kapke, Beau Swenson, Zach Walker, Santos Verdinez, Mitchell Heibel, Tyler Klehr, Nathan Rose, Kody Klopfleisch, Ben White, Kaleb Stoeckman, Darian Schulte, Austin Sadler, Brody Rodning, Alex Pedraza, Nick Haupt, Erik Danielson, Tristan Podratz, Cordell Bates, Sam Bullert;

After a week of conditioning, the Wolverines began full contact on Monday. They will travel to St. Peter on Saturday to scrimmage the Saints and Lake Crystal-Wellcome-Memorial.

“Practice is going well, kids are working hard, and enthusiasm is high,” Hartman said. “We have some great senior leadership this year and a good, tight bunch that enjoys being on the football field.”

Sibley East will open its 2010 campaign by hosting Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop on Friday, September 3rd. The Wolverines fell to GFW 50-21 a year ago and finished the season with a 2-7 record.