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minnesota high school football

Conference Preview: Tri-Metro

08/23/2013, 6:15am CDT
By Alex Conover

Tons of returning all-conference players for the Tri-Metro

2012 Conference finish

1 DeLaSalle 5-0 (10-1)
2 Providence Academy 4-1 (8-3)
3 Minnehaha Academy 3-2 (5-5)
4 Blake 2-3 (3-6)
5 Breck 1-4 (2-7)
6 SPA/MPA 0-5 (1-8)
1 St. Croix Lutheran 5-0 (7-1)
2 St. Anthony Village 4-1 (6-2)
3 Concordia Academy 3-2 (5-3)
4 New Life Academy 2-3 (4-4)
5 St. Agnes 1-4 (2-6)
6 Brooklyn Center 0-5 (0-8)

Teams to beat: DeLaSalle and St. Croix Lutheran

A photo from the last time these two teams squared off—a 35-28 DeLaSalle win on 9/14/12

DeLaSalle cruised with an undefeated record all year until they met Becker in the Class AAA State semifinals. Coach Sean McNomony and the Islanders return with talented running back Chris Williams, a senior who rumbled for 1,426 yards last year and 6-foot-4 wide out James Lawson. The biggest storyline for this squad might be the absence of senior quarterback Reid Travis, a basketball phenom who decided not to play this fall. In his place will step Billy Hart, a quarterback who is about nine inches shorter than Travis but who has been practicing with the Islanders all summer. Also back is stud junior lineman Drayton Carlberg and lots of depth.

St. Croix Lutheran has seen a lot of success over the last couple years, highlighted by their undefeated 2011 run to the Class AAA title. They fell short last season, but it was no disappointment—they made it all the way to the state quarterfinals, losing to Blue Earth, the eventual state champs. Eight seniors have moved on with All-Conference honors, but the Crusaders return QB David Poenath and RB Trever Koester, the latter of whom earned First Team Tri-Metro as just a sophomore. Also coming back is Randy Gehl, an impact offensive lineman and another All-Conference sophomore.

Don't forget about...

Zach Siggelkow receives a handoff for St. Anthony Village

Providence Academy finished a game away from state, losing the section championship to Jordan by just three points. The Lions and coach Nate Harrington won every Tri-Metro game last year except for—you guessed it—DeLaSalle and St. Croix Lutheran. All-Conference 6-foot-5 WR Ben Ratliff will be a senior, and stud RB/LB Ryan Richelson is just entering his junior year. Lineman Trey Weibusch will also enter his junior campaign with All-Conference honors.

Minnehaha Academy went 5-5 and returns seven offensive starters along with six on defense. Several of the top players play on both sides, notably seniors Dane Birkeland at WR/LB (a real threat at 6-foot-4) and Jonathan Webb (WB/CB). Dawson Rademacher and Kiran Goswitz will fight for time at quarterback. “(Minnehaha is a) very talented and committed group of players, who work hard and who should be able compete with any team we play,” coach Collin Quinn said. “Looking to build on the success of last season and become the very best team we are capable of being.”

St. Anthony Village posted a 7-3 record, but they lose about 7-10 core seniors who were top contributors. Zach Siggelkow (RB), Jesus Romero (RB) and Justice Spriggs (QB) are all key returners. Todd Niklaus’ Huskies went 7-3 overall, including a 4-1 conference record that finished just behind St. Croix Lutheran. They were also undefeated at home.

Blake is coming off a 3-6 season, but five of their seniors are coming in as All-Conference players. Their offense runs behind stud RB Marcus Berg who put up 1,400 yards as a junior in 2012. Other big names are Tom Mahoney, a 5-9 WR/DB starter and Jake Hoops, a 250-pounder on both sides of the line who is entering his fourth year as a starter. Also watch out for linemen Oliver Cornelius-Knudsen and Noah Smith.

Players to watch

Marcus Berg, Blake, RB
Jacob Hoops, Blake, OL/DL
Tom Mahoney, Blake, WR/DB
Kwaku Bodom, Breck, OL
Karsten Salveson, Breck, OL
Anton Gougeon, Breck, RB
Derek Wiitala, Breck, RB
Tyler Joles, Brooklyn Center, OL
Alex Hawton, Brooklyn Center, WR
Jose Cabrera, Brooklyn Center, OL
Austin Moldenhauer, Concordia, QB/DB
Ryan Maser, Concordia, OL/DL
Eric Young, Concordia, WR/DB
Chris Williams, DeLaSalle, RB
James Lawson, DeLaSalle, WR
Billy Hart, DeLaSalle, QB
James King Jr., DeLaSalle, RB
Drayton Carlberg, DeLaSalle, OL/DL
Dane Birkeland, Minnehaha, WR/LB
Alex Hummel, Minnehaha
Jonathan Moss, Minnehaha, WR/DB
Jacob Salkowicz, New Life Academy
Matt Etzweiler, New Life Academy
Ben Ratliff, Providence Academy, WR
Ryan Richelsen, Providence Academy, RB/LB
Trey Wiebusch, Providence Academy, OL/DL
David Ponath, St. Croix Lutheran, QB
Trever Koester, St. Croix Lutheran, RB
Randy Gehl, St. Croix Lutheran, OL/DL
Malik Johnson, St. Agnes, OL
Oliver Blackstone, St. Agnes, OL
Zach Siggelkow, St. Anthony Village, RB
Jesus Romero, St. Anthony VIllage, RB
Justice Spriggs, St. Anthony Village, QB
MIchael O'Shea, SPA/MPA

Best games in Tri-Metro Country

8/30, St. Croix Lutheran at DeLaSalle
9/27, Blake at Breck (rivalry game)
9/27, Minnehaha Academy at Providence Academy
10/16, St. Anthony Village at New Life Academy

Tag(s): Dane Birkeland  Drayton Carlberg  Kwaku Bodom  Game Previews