The 2012 high school football season begins a week from Friday, Colby, the Division 5 state champs figure to be the team to beat in the Cloverbelt, but several teams appear to be in the mix including Regis, Stanley-Boyd, Osseo-Fairchild and Fall Creek.
In Fall Creek, the Crickets are coming off a 3-6 season a year ago, coach Mike Johnson's team must overcome an off-season of adversity as the team lost three players to injuries that will not allow them to play this fall. Despite that disappointment, coach Johnson says his kids are working hard, the upperclassmen with one common goal, make it to the post-season.
Mike Johnson says, "We're gonna have a battle each week, but our guys are hungry. This group of seniors, they want to be in the playoffs, they haven't tasted that and they want that experience. We've had a good week of practice, injuries are a big thing right now, you know. Overcoming the adversities and challenges that the season brings, unfortunately, for a few of our guys, they're gonna end up missing our season."
Tyler Stanek, Fall Creek senior adds, "I think there's a lot of energy in our team, especially on defense. We're going to look to light up some people and we're going to have some fun this year."
Meanwhile at Osseo-Fairchild, the Thunder are coming off a fourth place finiish in the Cloverbelt last year, coach Dan Waters is back at the helm with plenty of experience returning for a team that was in the post-season. And while Colby and Regis may be the pre-season conference favorites, the Thunder expect big things in 2012.
Dan Waters says, "We're bringing back 14 position starters this year, ya know, so that gives us a lot more experience and we really, you know, Colby was kind of head and shoulders above everybody along with Regis last year, hopefully we can cut that gap a little bit this year.
Sam Waters, Thunder senior quarterback says, "We're excited this year, we've got a lot of guys coming back, strong senior class, so we're looking forward to it for a long time and we're ready to go."