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Magnuson takes reins for new-look Patriots

2018 Pequot Lakes football team. See story for caption. Dan Determan / Echo Journal

Coming off the best finish in program history, the Pequot Lakes Patriot football team now have a new head coach in Bill Magnuson and several players with varsity experience.

"With the return of 16 letterwinners off of the 2017 Class 3A State Semifinals team, the 2018 season should be exciting," Magnuson said.

However, the team parted ways with coach Chip Lohmiller and a large group of seniors who occupied many of the team's starting roles in 2017. Despite this, Magnuson believes that the "cupboard is not empty."

Among the returning players are senior tight end Tyler Manley, who was special teams co-MVP and earned All-Midwest Red District honors while senior receiver Dylin Ackerman and senior running back Tim Ryan were chosen most improved players last year.

Other seniors are Tyler Larson, James Brenan and Colton Anderson, receivers, Luke Ryan and Harly Large, running backs, Brendan Brill, tight end, Dylan Mesenbrink, fullback, and Marcus Klein and Cole Cardias O'Hern, lineman; juniors Cale Wolf, quarterback, Zach Jorgens, fullback, Brayden Bryntson, receiver, and Josh Pettit, Anthony Sullivan, Keaton Dingman, Jacob Faacks and Myca Reynolds, linemen.

Magnuson has served as an assistant coach for the Patriots the past two years, but has roughly 20 years of experience as a head coach for Sauk Rapids-Rice and Windom. As a head coach, his record is 98-106.

Assistant coaches are Gregg Martig, Jamie Wagner, Dave Ackerman and Pete Ryan.

Last year, the Patriots won eight straight games to reach the Class 3A state semifinals for the first time in program history. That's where they lost to St. Croix Lutheran 45-7 at U.S. Bank Stadium.

The Patriots had defeated Mora 34-0 in the state quarterfinals in Alexandria. The Patriots also downed Perham 56-22 in the Fargodome for the section title.

The semifinal loss ended a memorable year for the Patriots, who finished 9-3 overall with a veteran squad with 22 seniors. Pequot Lakes outscored its opponents 322-149 and had 4,676 yards of offense while surrendering 2,570.

"Many players gained valuable repetitions in practice and games with the extended season," Magnuson said. "The coaching staff has been impressed with the dedication of the returning players during summer workouts and practice. The players returning are excited to take the field under a new coaching staff with a new offensive/defensive scheme to continue the proud Patriot Football tradition."

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2018 Pequot Lakes football team. Front row, from left: Tade Magnuson (manager), Braden Holmes, Erik Larsen, Chase Decker, Ryan Monahan, Logan Hill, Cole Trottier, Gabe Maske and Dylan Collins. Second row: Coach Jamie Wagner, Colton Anderson, Marcus Klein, Tyler Manley, Harley Large, Tim Ryan, James Brennan, Luke Ryan, Tyler Larson, Dylin Ackerman, Josh Lelwica, Dylan Mesenbrink and Coach Gregg Martig. Third row: Coach Bill Magnuson, Cale Wolf, Myca Reynolds, Keaton Dingman, Anthony Sullivan, Jacob Faacks, Bode Magnuson, Carter Sjoblad, Zach Jorgens, Josh Pettit, Daltin Ackerman, Eryk Schmokel, Brian Rowland, Will Larson, Coach Dave Ackerman and Coach Pete Ryan. Back row: Alex Hannahs, Garett Griffin, Alex Morgan, Jack Benson, Hunter Nybakken, Josef Slepica, Caleb Davis, Jim Johanneck, Tyler Hidde, Hunter Wendt, Landon Roy, Ty English, Elijah Thell.

August

30 - Pequot Lakes at Staples Motley, 7 p.m.

September

7 - Fergus Falls at Pequot Lakes, 7 p.m.

14 - Pequot Lakes at Perham, 7 p.m.

21 - Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton at Pequot Lakes, 7 p.m.

28 - Detroit Lakes at Pequot Lakes (homecoming), 6 p.m.

October

5 - Pequot Lakes at Park Rapids, 6 p.m.

12 - Pequot Lakes at Thief River Falls, 7 p.m.

17 - East Grand Forks at Pequot Lakes, 7 p.m.

23 - Section playoffs open, 6 p.m.

Dan Determan

Staff Writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal weekly newspaper.

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