Pirates to put size, game experience on gridiron
Mike Mahlen and his coaching staff will put a combination of size and game experience on the gridiron this season as they tackle their 2013 schedule. The Pirates are coming off a 7-3 season which saw them losing twice to Pheasant North rival Unde...
Mike Mahlen and his coaching staff will put a combination of size and game experience on the gridiron this season as they tackle their 2013 schedule.
The Pirates are coming off a 7-3 season which saw them losing twice to Pheasant North rival Underwood. Their only other defeat was a 27-22 setback to Prairie Valley which gave Mahlen's club their only home field loss.
The Pirates have five starters back on offense. Dillon Card is back to quarterback the Pirates for the third straight year. Card is a 6-4, 210-pound junior, helped the Pirates rack up 310 points last season.Card helped Verndale average 42 points a game during the team's four-game winning streak in October.
Card will have to find new targets for his passes this season after losing teammate Dallas Ehrmantraut to graduation. Ehrmantraut was a scoring terror for the Pirates during their final three games as he found the end zone 11 times.
In addition to Card, Dakota Finck, a 5-10, 150-pound junior, also returns to the Verndale backfield. Finck was called on the Pirates lost Andy Bounds to injury before the season and handled a lot of the rushing load. The return of Bounds will give the Pirates the option of putting the ball into the hands of a 6-0, 220-pound senior.
Dan Fischer is a 6-1, 280-pound senior returning at a tackle spot. The Pirates will balance him at the other tackle spot with 6-4, 185-pound junior Seth Zins.
Eric Blaha is returning as a 6-1, 200-pound tight end. Also back is 6-2, 160-pound senior end Marcos Gomez.
The Pirates will bring a strong defensive line to each game. Card is back to play an end spot. He will be joined by 6-4, 190-pound senior Will Kramer. Kramer, along with 5-8, 190-pound junior Hayden Truax and 6-0, 170-pound senior Jacob Booth, had to play on the B-squad last year after transferring back to Verndale. Truax will be adding his talents to the offensive backfield while Booth is set to center the ball.
Fischer and Blaha are back to play the defensive tackle spots giving the Pirates both size and experience.
"The defensive line should be as good as we've had for awhile," Mahlen said.
James Kveton, a 6-1, 220-pound junior, is expected to be ready to return to his linebacker spot by the time the Pirates play their second regular season game Sept. 6 with Underwood.
Gomez is back to play a secondary spot along with 5-11, 140-pound junior Colter Ehrmantraut.
Mahlen expects Underwood to once again be the Pheasant North's top contender. Mahlen sees defending Class Nine-man state champ Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley fighting Wheaton/Herman-Norcross for top honors in the Pheasant South.