By PATRICK SLACK
The Holdingford football team only won two regular-season games a year ago, but followed with a strong postseason run.
After going 2-6 in the rigorous Central Minnesota Conference (CMC), the Huskers cruised through its section quarterfinal game before challenging conference and eventual section champion Pierz into the second half of the semifinals.
Holdingford will look to build off of that momentum heading into this season, with a deep stable of returning players to operate with.
On offense, junior quarterback/linebacker Mitch Messman comes back after throwing for 1,378 yards, running for 352 more and posting 13 touchdowns.
Defensively, senior tailback/linebacker Jon Skwira and sophomore running back/linebacker Matt Messman combined to amass 149 tackles and 3 1/2 sacks.
Other returning starters include seniors Cody Schwinghammer (wide receiver/defensive back), Taylor Milbrandt (tight end/linebacker) and Logan Athmann (offensive line) and juniors Mitch Merten (offensive line/defensive end), Jordan Gombos (fullback/defensive tackle) and Cody Bialka (wide receiver/defensive back).
New athletes expected to step into more prominent roles are seniors Kyle Kolstad (offensive line/defensive tackle), Bryan Scepaniak (offensive line/defensive tackle), Cody Scepaniak (running back/safety) and Beau Maciej (tight end/safety), juniors Chris Burg (center/defensive end) and Jeremy Springer (wide receiver/defensive back) and sophomore Nathan Brinker (offensive line/linebacker).
Seniors on this year’s team include Bryan Scepaniak, Cody Scepaniak, Brent Gerads, Nick Mugg, Ryan Ostermann, Matt Suppan, Adam Lane, Jason Jarnot, Ben Burtzlaff-Meyer, Skwira, Schwinghammer, Milbrandt, Kolstad, Athmann and Maciej.
Holdingford opens the season at home against St. Cloud Cathedral, Friday.