PREP FOOTBALL: East Grand Forks is inexperienced, but optimistic
Dylan Selk carried the football six times for 20 yards in the 2015 high school football season. Logan Dietrich caught two passes for 25 yards. Those numbers make Selk and Dietrich the veterans returning at the skill positions for East Grand Forks...
Dylan Selk carried the football six times for 20 yards in the 2015 high school football season. Logan Dietrich caught two passes for 25 yards.
Those numbers make Selk and Dietrich the veterans returning at the skill positions for East Grand Forks Senior High.
The Green Wave are in total rebuild mode in the backfield and the receiving positions.
"It's actually kind of an exciting situation,'' Senior High coach Ryan Kasowski said. "We've got kids with talent. Even though they haven't played much varsity ball, we're comfortable with the guys we'll be putting out there.''
Seniors dominated the offense for last season's 3-6 Senior High team. Quarterback Trevor Selk rushed for 684 yards and passed for 1,456 yards. Jordan Young had 853 yards rushing. Cole Hammargren, Braden Shea, Gunner Welsh and Tom Pace all caught 12 or more passes.
All were seniors.
"We graduated all of our playmakers,'' Kasowski said. "It's wide open who plays now. Guys are competing for playing time, every day competing to earn spots. And they are competing. In that way, it's been good.''
Who gets the ball Thursday when Senior High hosts Crookston at 6 p.m. in the first football game on the new artificial turf at Senior High Field is still unclear.
Dylan Selk, a junior and third-year varsity player who is making the switch from running back to quarterback, is the front-runner to succeed his brother at quarterback. But Carter Beck and Jake Hjelle are also competing for the job. Selk started at linebacker last season.
"Dylan (Selk) probably has a bit of an edge because of his experience,'' Kasowski said.
In the mix in the backfield are Nick Derrick, Ethan Trebil, Maguire Stanislawski, Jackson Galstad and Jhett Pesch. Kasowski doesn't see one back dominating the rushing opportunities like Young did last season.
"They'll all get playing time,'' Kasowski said.
"It will be more of a run-oriented offense. We're trying to go to more of a power game. We got away from that the last few years because of the skill set of those kids. But we feel confident with all these backs.''
Whatever direction the Wave offense goes, there will be high expectations for the offensive line. That's where the experience lies, as Bauer Brown, James Egeland and Austin Overgaard are returning starters.
Brown isn't concerned about all the new faces in the huddle this season. Instead, the senior is anxiously anticipating an offense geared around power.
"It will be fun, trying to take it to the guy across from you on every play,'' Brown said. "In the running game, you have to get into (defenders) more, to push more. We'll be more of a blue-collar team.
"We have new guys who are excited about what they're doing. Hopefully we'll be a better team this year. There is a lot of pressure on us (linemen). We're trying to teach the younger guys about what East Grand Forks football is about, about the hard work."
Because of the experience on the offensive line, "that's the group we'll rely on to move the ball,'' Kasowski said. "We want to run the ball. We need those guys doing their jobs to make that happen. A lot falls on those guys. And they seem to be OK with that.''
And the inexperience at the skill positions? Kasowski doesn't anticipate that being a drawback.
"They're inexperienced,'' Kasowski said, "but they're talented.''
EGF Senior High at a glance
Coach: Ryan Kasowski.
2015 results: 3-6, lost in first round of Section 8AAA playoffs.
Key graduation losses: Trevor Selk, Jordan Young, Cole Hammargren, Tom Pace, Braden Shea, Gunner Welsh, Ben Olson, Grant Demers, Issac Flores.
Returning offensive regulars: Sr. OL Bauer Brown, sr. OL James Egeland, jr. OL Austin Overgaard.
Returning defensive regulars: DL Brown, sr. ILB Nick Derrick, jr. ILB Dylan Selk.
Potential new impact players: Soph. QB/DB Carter Beck, sr. WR/DB Logan Dietrich, soph. RB/DB Ethan Trebil, soph. RB/LB Maguire Stanislawski, soph. RB/DB Jackson Galstad, soph. RB/LB Jhett Pesch, soph. OL/DL Zack Johnson, soph. OL/DB Chase Olderbak, soph. TE/DL Luke Vonesh, soph. TE/DL Evan Estad.
Top returning rushers: Dylan Selk 6-20, Jorge Bernal 2-15.
Top returning receiver: Logan Dietrich 2-25
About the offense, coach Kasowski says: "We'll run the ball a lot more this year. That will be our main focus. We can throw the ball, but with the players we have we won't have to throw out of necessity. It will be running by committee because we have several guys who we think will be good. We feel comfortable with our with our offensive line. That's one of our stronger areas.''
About the defense, coach Kasowski says: "With Derrick and Dylan back at linebacker, and Brown and Overgaard on the line, we feel good about the front seven. Derrick and Dylan are our two best defensive players, our best playmakers. We're confident with our No. 1s in the secondary, but we're young and inexperienced behind them.''