Column: football season draws near

Published 10:28 pm Monday, August 23, 2010

It was a nice sunny day on Monday and it was also the first day that high school football teams begin full contact practices.

So I figured, why not go do four football previews in one day?

Lyle/Pacelli quarterback Carter Guthimiller makes a throw in practice in Lyle Monday. -- Rocky Hulne/

My trek across the area included stops in Blooming Prairie, Lyle, Adams, and, of course, Austin.

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In BP, it’s business as usual. The Awesome Blossoms have been a force for the last three years and they didn’t look to overexcited in practice but they looked very

focused on the task at hand.

BP quarterback Luc Zellmer can put the ball about anywhere he wants to and Gabe Kartes should give BP a big-time speed threat.

The Blossoms lost some good seniors from last year’s team that went to the dome and lost to the eventual state champs from Minneota, but I wouldn’t be

surprised if BP made its way back to state again.

In Lyle, the numbers were low but spirits are high.

With just enough players to run a nine-man offense, the Athletics can’t afford any injuries this season. But if they stay healthy, the backfield of Damien Haugen and Garrett Jenkins could do some interesting things.

Ryan Rust also showed some good energy and ability at tight end.

By mid-afternoon, it was off to Adams — home of the Southland Rebels.

The Rebels may have been the best team in the state to not play in the dome over the past two years. The state champ has come from Section 1AA the last two seasons, and Southland had it’s season end to both of those champs.

This year, the Rebels look focused, poised and I think they mean business.

It’s the fifth year of head coach Shawn Kennedy’s tenure and he said his wieght lifting and agility programs are starting to take effect.

He also said that keeping the coaching staff together has been a big plus over the years.

As for the Packers, they’re still deciding who’s going to start at some key positions, but the team has the new offense figured out.

For the most part, players seem optimistic and they’re hoping to get off to a strong start.

On Monday, they took a little break from practice to play some volleyball with the Austin volleyball players.

While that may not have made them better football players, I’ll bet it helped them bond and brought the team closer together.

That’s always good in high school sports.