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Area high school notebook

Reilly Mathiason stepped in as a first-year starting quarterback last season and threw for almost 700 yards. That's earned the Grafton senior a position switch. Mathiason, after completing 46 of 105 passes for 697 yards last season, is on the rec...

Reilly Mathiason stepped in as a first-year starting quarterback last season and threw for almost 700 yards.

That's earned the Grafton senior a position switch.

Mathiason, after completing 46 of 105 passes for 697 yards last season, is on the receiving end of the pass combination this football season. In the Spoilers' season opener Friday, he hauled in touchdown passes from Jake Hanson covering 53 and 10 yards as Grafton defeated Park River 28-8.

"We decided that Reilly's best position is wide receiver," Grafton coach Tom Maus said. "With his speed, we want to get him the ball out in open spaces.

"At quarterback, by the time he was getting his speed up, he was getting tackled."

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The Spoilers are finding different ways of getting the ball to Mathiason, who finished second in the 100 at the Class B state track meet last spring. In addition to his two catches -- the 53-yarder of which was a short pass which he turned into a long touchdown -- Mathiason also rushed four times for 34 yards. He was used in motion and on reverses.

Hanson, meanwhile, was 5-of-10 passing for 89 yards and the sophomore rushed for 69 yards.

"Jake is a good leader, with a good arm," Maus said. "With Reilly at receiver, our quarterback has a big weapon to throw to. It's the first time in my five years here that we've had speed like he has. Without Reilly out there, we don't have a weapon like that. And Reilly was pretty open to the move."

Mathiason isn't the only Spoiler senior shifting spots. Paul Dusek, a starting receiver last year, is now a starting offensive tackle. "He's used to getting the ball, but Paul is one of our bigger kids, so we needed him inside. It was pretty unselfish the way he made the move," Maus said.

Fast start

for new co-op

A year ago, Griggs County Central was winless during the football season and Barnes County North had only one victory, that against Griggs County Central.

A lot has changed this fall.

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Those two programs have formed the Griggs-Barnes County co-op. The two teams played 9-man; now the team is in Class A 11-man. There is a new coach in the program in Bill Nelson. And the team is off to a 2-0 start.

"Part of (the turnaround) is a different structure," Nelson said. "We have good athletes, and we've gotten the kids to believe in what we're trying to do."

The strength of the team has been its rushing game.

In the season-opening win against Midway-Minto, Nelson said his team had four players rush for between 60 and 90 yards. On Saturday against Larimore, it was a two-player show -- Tucker Bartlett rushed for 234 yards and Seth Petersen for 129. Nelson said the team will open up its offense more to take advantage of quarterback Jeff Baumann's throwing ability.

"We've been a pound-and-grind team so far," Nelson said. "We can throw the ball; we will throw the ball.

"And our kids are doing nice things up front on the line. We have some size, and those guys have played with an ornery streak."

Laxdal is new

Cavalier coach

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Two games into the season, Cavalier has a new head football coach.

Matt Pulver has been released from his contract. Sandy Laxdal has been elevated from assistant to head coach.

"We had great respect for Matt as a coach,'' said Laxdal, who is principal and athletic director at Cavalier. "Matt has some personal issues that he needs to address. We'll miss him. But we need to move forward with our football program.''

Laxdal is no stranger to a head position. He's in his third year at Cavalier. Prior to that, Laxdal was a head coach at Cando High School.

Cavalier is off to a 2-0 start this season.

Briefly

Harvey won the championship Saturday at the Bottineau volleyball tournament. . . . Alex Anderson, who graduated from Munich High School this spring, recently signed a letter of intent to play baseball at Bismarck State College. . . . Griggs County Central senior Beth Jochim registered the 1,000th assist of her volleyball career in a match against Larimore on Tuesday. . . . Victoria Schlangen of Lake of the Woods is ranked seventh in the Minnesota Class A preseason state cross country coaches' poll.

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