Counting down: 12 for 2012

Published 8:54 am Sunday, January 1, 2012

Will it be four more years for Barack Obama, or will one of the GOP contenders emerge from the Iowa caucus to unseat the president? See where the 2012 election ranks among the top stories to watch for this year. - Herald file photo

Much planned for 2012

Each new year holds promise, but 2012 in Austin could shape the future of the city. Expansions are planned to both public and private entities — including the Hormel Institute, the government center, Paramount Theatre and Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin — and a number of new jobs could stem from the projects. Along with that, the Austin area could see new local leadership after the 2012 election. The Herald staff chose the top 12 stories to keep an eye out for in 2012.

Austin's Trevor Feuerhak carries after a reception in a 38-19 loss to Albert Lea last season.

12. AHS football program eyeing the future

After going two seasons without a win, the Austin football team will likely have a different look when the season rolls around this fall.

The school district plans to have a new coach in place by Feb. 1 and interviews will begin the second week of January.

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Some of the changes have already begun for the Packers as players have been organizing team meetings to prepare and get everyone on the same page.

“We have some juniors who have done a great job and called some meetings,” Austin activities director Lisa Quednow-Bickler said. “We want our student athletes to have a good experience and we want our players to get bigger, faster and stronger. The team has been working hard and holding meetings and we’re looking for someone to lead them.”

One thing’s for sure, there will be some capable players on the Packers’ roster this fall as a lot of sophomores played on the varsity team this year and Austin has had some solid freshman and JV teams the past two seasons.

“The freshman and sophomores have had success at the lower levels and we’d like to carry that success to the varsity level,” Quednow-Bickler said.