Osseo, Cadott (WQOW) — A pair of teams that are looking to move up the Cloverbelt standings this upcoming season, are Osseo-Fairchild and Cadott.
The Thunder finished last year 2-6 in conference play, and 2-7 overall. They do return five offensive starters, including second-team all-conference running back Caden Boettcher, who led the team in both passing and rushing in 2017. And in order to be successful for this season, Osseo-Fairchild is expecting to be productive on that side of the ball.
"The quarterback spot and running back spot are two of the strengths, but then our wide-outs (our receivers) are catching the ball well so far," says Eric Boettcher, who is entering his sixth season as head coach. "Shawn Windhorst has stepped in, he played a lot last year in the slot. Our offensive line, we’ve got Cory Myhers coming back at center and Luke Kutchera who saw some time on the line. So those guys have got some experience."
One area though that the Thunder don’t have much experience, is the offensive line. As four of the five starters from last season are gone, and senior center Cory Myhers is the lone lineman returning.
"They’ve all done well in JV, and now they’re just stepping up at the next level," Myhers, who also plays defensive tackle says. "Luke Kutchera, he’s played some varsity reps before so he’s not scared. Basically, our whole lines just really working together nice so far."
Senior running back and linebacker Sam Jacobson agrees, thinking the line is the key to success on offense this season.
"Offensive line has been holding really well," says Jacobson. "And I think that our offense this year is really going to be a tough nut to crack for some other teams."
Osseo-Fairchild opens the season Friday, August 17th at home, they’ll take on Colby.
At Cadott, former assistant Jeff Goettl will take over the program, after the Hornets finished last season 2-7 overall. They return five starters on each side of the ball, and after hosting a three-team scrimmage this past Saturday, Goettl saw plenty of positives.
"We learned our offensive line is going to be pretty stout, our defensive line’s stout, we got some pretty good linebacker play behind that, but we are rolling in the first week down about six starters," Goettl says. "So it’ll be a tough first week, but after that we’re going to start to climb I think."
Cadott did graduate a pair of second-team all-conference performers in quarterback Michael Emery and wide receiver Bailey Gillett, but this season the Hornets think an improved defense could lead to more wins.
"When we keep our defense going and tackling good, that’s how we win games," says senior linebacker and quarterback Coy Bowe. "When our defense gets down, and that’s when we start to get behind, but we’re going to keep it up this year. Keep going 100 percent, go hard, and we’re going to win."
Senior cornerback Donovan Walters agrees that an improvement on defense can lead to an improvement in 2018.
"Offense, last year we were running, but defense is where it hurt us," Walters, who also plays wide receiver says. "This year I don’t think it’s going to be a concern for us at all, we truly have been working hard at it."
Cadott kicks off the season Saturday, August 18th at 11 A.M. The Hornets will be on the road taking on Regis.