|Dragons face Imperial in season opener|
|Written by Chris Lee|
The Holyoke Dragon football team held its scrimmage on Saturday, Aug. 29 and coach Rod Trumper, in his first year as head coach, said it was a good scrimmage and went well.
“We were able to get up to game speed a little bit,” he said. “It let us know where we were at and what we need to work on for the upcoming week against Imperial.”
Trumper said the fundamentals have really improved since practice began two weeks ago. “Our kids are really getting a feel for what we’re doing and what we’re asking them to do,” he said.
With 14 freshmen on the 32-player roster, Trumper said it will be important for everyone to stay healthy throughout the season. After losing eight seniors from the 2008 26-man roster, Trumper said they will need the younger kids to step up.
“A lot of the young kids are going to be forced into action this year,” he said.
Holyoke finished the 2008 season with a 6-4 record after falling to Hotchkiss on the road in the first round of the playoffs. The Dragons began the 2008 campaign with a 4-0 record with wins over Grant and Imperial, Neb., Peyton and Burlington. In conference play the Dragons finished with a 3-3 record after capturing wins over Highland, Wiggins and Burlington.
Trumper said the conference will again be a tough one. “Brutal, that’s the only way to put it,” Trumper said. Akron, Wray and Yuma will be the teams to look out for, he said. All three of those teams handed Holyoke big losses last year.
Having nearly half of the roster consist of freshmen is a good thing, Trumper said. It will help out in the future if that trend continues.
Senior Logan Krueger missed much of last season with a knee injury but is back and will switch positions this year moving from center to starting as quarterback for the Dragons.
Trumper wants other teams to not overlook the Dragons this season. “We don’t want other teams to think they can sleepwalk through Holyoke,” he said. Keeping everyone healthy and getting the younger players experience will be key for their success.
Dragons travel to Imperial, Neb. Friday
The Dragons open up the 2009 season in Imperial, Neb. on Friday Sept. 4. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.
Trumper expects the Longhorns to be tough this year. “They were young last year and should be a pretty solid team,” he said.
Holyoke will have two other non-conference games when they host Grant, Neb. on Sept. 11 and Peyton on Sept. 18. The rest of the 2009 schedule is: Sept. 25 at Burlington, Oct. 2, Akron, here, Oct. 9 at Yuma, Oct. 16 at Highland, Oct. 23, Wray, here, Oct. 30 at Wiggins.
Changes can be seen in the coaching staff this year as Trumper begins his first year in the driver’s seat. Helping coach the high school and junior high teams are, Aaron Sprague, HS defensive coordinator; Aaron Mosenteen, HS offensive coordinator; Mike Smith, HS special teams; John Ortner, HS assistant coach and JH defensive coordinator; Corey Zeiler, JH assistant coach; Dusty McConnell, JH assistant coach; and John Baumgartner, JH offensive coordinator. Several of the coaches fill volunteer positions.