Lakers move to new conference, section
There is plenty of change heading the way of the Detroit Lakes football team, which will bring new challenges and obstacles, but also a nice refreshing look to the season.
But the Lakers will be facing these new challenges with a solid, all-around good team.
"Our goal is to be good by playoff time and we have a great bunch of kids to work with this season," said DL head coach Flint Motschenbacher. "They have put themselves in a position to be successful and they are a good example to the younger kids.
"But now, they need to get it done on the field."
The changes mostly come with DL's opponents, since they will open their new Heart O'Lakes Conference schedule, as well as play in a new section.
The Lakers' travel schedule has gone down dramatically, changing from road trips to Duluth to away games to East Grand Forks, Pequot Lakes and Park Rapids.
The HOL North Conference contains DL, Thief River Falls, Perham, Staples-Motley, Park Rapids, Crookston and East Grand Forks.
"We are excited to being part of the HOL North," Motschenbacher said. "It limits our travel and it will be a very good, competitive conference."
The Lakers also have been moved from Section 8-4A to Section 7-4A, which includes Bemidji, Duluth Denfeld, Grand Rapids, Hermantown and Hibbing.
Bemidji has won the section the last three years and brings back a heavy contingent of experience.
"It's not as deep as Section 8-4A, but the section will be very good nonetheless," Motschenbacher stated.
The Lakers enter 2011 with one of the sought after quarterbacks in the state in senior Joe Mollberg.
The DL quarterback is entering his third year as the starting signal caller and has been heavily recruited by each of North Dakota State University and the University of North Dakota, as well as serious looks from the University of Iowa Hawkeyes.
But Mollberg's focus is still on the Red and White and any outside distractions won't pull his attention away from Laker wins.
"Joe has told me he is a Laker first and that's his main concern," Motschenbacher said. "He has worked hard to be where he is at and he has become a dual-threat quarterback.
"The big thing with him is he's is reacting and playing, which experience has been a big key to that."
The offense will be built around Mollberg's talents, which will be more explosive and more wide open to put pressure on defenses.
Mollberg has some serious threats down the field in senior Brian Labat, who can act as a big time receiver split wide or a rusher at running back.
Senior Rick Hutchinson will also be legitimate threat on the outside, with steady hands and high athletic ability for yards after the catch.
"We are expecting big things out of these guys," Motschenbacher said. "Brian is very versatile, he's a playmaker."
Junior Kirk McLeod will also see time split out wide and will be a reliable target from Mollberg's arm.
The Lakers can also hit a defense up front with sophomore fullback Michael Herzog, who possesses "tremendous speed".
The slots are also a weapon to be used in the offense, which includes juniors Taylor Magnuson, Stephen Erb and Labat.
"Our team speed should be improved from the last several years, as well," Motschenbacher said.
The offensive line returns only one in senior Josh Olson, who will anchor the unit. Depth is good, but experience is thin.
"We have nine kids there who are fighting for spots, but we need a couple of them to step it up," Motschenbacher said. "We have a good mix of size on the line, we just want a few to step up and win those positions."
Motschenbacher hopes to see an improved defense this season, with experience pretty shallow, as well.
Senior David Perry is the lone defensive lineman back at end, while Labat has been moved from linebacker to strong safety, where he can have more space to roam.
At linebacker, the Lakers will be young, but talented, in junior Reed Johnson, senior Casey Fonder and junior Nick Eckman.
"We're working hard on tackling and the fundamentals," the DL coach said.
The defensive backfield will have Labat, Herzog, Steven Labine, McLeod, Erb, junior Derek Long, Mollberg and junior Austin Eiter.
"This year, we're looking to play more people because everyone has worked hard to gain playing time," Motschenbacher said.
The Lakers will have five home games this season and will be on the road to East Grand Forks, Park Rapids and Pequot Lakes.
Detroit Lakes Schedule
9/1 7:00 PM Little Falls
9/9 7:00 PM @ Pequot Lakes
9/16 7:00 PM Thief River Falls
9/23 7:00 PM Staples-Motley
9/30 7:00 PM @ East Grand Forks
10/7 7:00 PM @ Park Rapids Area
10/7 7:00 PM @ Park Rapids Area
10/14 7:00 PM Perham
10/19 7:00 PM Crookston
Name Pos Grade
Aaron Marsh WR 12
AJ Matter WR 11
Alex Webber WR 10
Andrew Brown WR 11
Andy Harris WR 10
Austen Dickenson WR 11
Austin Eiter WR 11
Ben Ortiz WR 10
Ben Overvig WR 12
Bernard Brewer WR 10
Brandon Dahring WR 10
Brandon Johnson WR 11
Brian Labat WR 12
Brock Johnson WR 10
Calvin Nodsle WR 10
Cameron Fritz WR 11
Casey Beyer WR 10
Casey Fonder WR 12
Casey Paskey WR 10
Chandler Briard WR 10
Chase Saunders WR 10
Cody Borah WR 10
Cody Carlson WR 10
Cole Hegg WR 10
Darion Helland WR 11
Dennis Hisgun WR 10
Derek Long WR 11
Devin McDonald WR 11
Dylan Bremseth WR 10
Dylon Hanson WR 10
Hunter Schleske WR 11
Jackson Lyngaas WR 10
Jake Hoganson WR 12
Jarett Nosal WR 10
Jason Griego WR 11
Joe Mollberg QB 12
Jordan Stalberger WR 11
Josh Weber WR 10
Joshua Mickelson WR 11
Joshua Olson WR 12
Kirby Siewert WR 10
Kirk McLeod WR 11
Logan Moe WR 11
Luke Eggebraaten WR 10
Luke Hestdalen WR 12
Luke Morgan WR 12
Luke Patton WR 12
Michael Herzog WR 10
Mikel Renteria WR 10
Mitchel Thom WR 10
Nick Eckman WR 11
Nick Groth WR 11
Noah Kitzmann WR 11
Reed Johnson WR 11
Rick Hutchinson WR 11
Robert Welty WR 10
Sam Voz WR 10
Stephen Erb WR 11
Steven Labine WR 12
Taylor Magnuson WR 11
Tyler Gebhart WR 11
Zachary York WR 10