The Pequot Lakes Patriots football team will have plenty of experience, but depth will be the key to their success coming off a 6-4 overall season.
Head coach Bill Magnuson’s squad, which was eliminated by rival Perham in the Section 8-3A semifinals, has seven starters returning on both offense and defense.
“After a tough section semifinal loss to Perham last year, our team, led by 17 seniors, is excited there’s a season,” said Magnuson, whose team returns 34 letterwinners. “Many returning players have seen action in varsity games the past two years, and that experience will help with our depth.”
Letterwinners include: Seniors Bode Magnuson, Ryan Monahan, Alex Morgan, Carter Sjoblad, Caleb Davis, Erik Larsen, Elijah Thell, Hunter Nybakken, Jack Benson, Will Larson, Cole Trottier, Hunter Wendt, Logan Hill, Landon Roy, Tyler Hidde and Alex Hannahs; Juniors Ryan Harmala, Nic Kotaska, Vinny Sposito, Evin Ruud, Brill Keaton and Eli Jorgens; and Sophomores Darby Boelter, Riggs Magnuson, Clay Wolf, Grant Loge, Cullen Kratochvil, Emmett Johnson, Caden Nelson, Jaiden Biley, Leo Bolz-Andolshek, Micah Sullivan, Matthew Foster and Logan White.
“Juniors who are not starters who should make major contributions are Keaton (Brill), Ryan (Harmala), Vinny (Sposito) and Evin (Ruud),” Coach Magnuson said. “The sophomore class is 27 players strong and many will look for snaps at the varsity level. Sophomores like Darby (Boelter), Cullen (Kratochvil), Logan (White) and Riggs (Magnuson) played as freshmen and should be able to contribute and provide depth this year.”
Bode Magnuson was an All-Red District selection last year and District Defensive Back of the Year while Hidde, Nybakken and Morgan received all-district honorable mention. Morgan, Bode Magnuson, Sjoblad, Larsen, Nybakken, Benson, Hidde, Brill, Kotaska and Harmala earned All-Academic Midwest District honors.
Pequot Lakes opens the season hosting Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton on Friday, Oct. 9. A key game will be Friday, Oct. 23, when the Patriots host Perham.
Last year, the Patriots fell to the visiting Perham Yellowjackets 14-3 in a defensive battle in the section semifinals. Pequot Lakes had defeated Perham 29-28 in the regular season finale at a time the Yellowjackets were ranked 10th in the state.
Assistant coaches are Brian Homan, Gregg Martig, Pete Ryan, Kirk Loge, Andy Kratochvil, Dave Ackerman, Joby Goerges and Preston Peters.
Pequot Lakes football
9 - Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton at Pequot Lakes 7 p.m.
15 - Pequot Lakes at Park Rapids 6 p.m.
23 - Perham at Pequot Lakes 7 p.m.
30 - Pequot Lakes at Fergus Falls 6 p.m.
6 - Pequot Lakes at Thief River Falls 6 p.m.
11 - Detroit Lakes at Pequot Lakes 6 p.m.
17 - Section quarterfinals at TBD 6 p.m.