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Plenty of experience back for Hornets

The varsity takes laps around the practice field during preseason workouts.1 / 6
Hornet players work on their vertical and conditioning during a sunny August morning in Frazee.2 / 6
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The trenches for the Frazee football team will be manned by experience, skill and good size.

That should offer Hornet running backs plenty of space to run and a good front line for the defense.

Overall, the Hornets will be experienced throughout the lineup after a solid 6-2 season last year.

"Each of the last three years we have improved from 4-4 to 5-3 and 6-2," said Frazee head coach Jim Rader. "These kids are expecting to keep moving forward, too. They want to improve (the record) again."

Frazee will have a healthy rushing attack, with senior running back Mike Moltzan back in the mix.

Moltzan rushed for 860 yards last year and was a top 10 back in the conference a year ago.

"He runs hard and we feel we will be able to run the ball well," Rader said.

But it was the offensive line which helped pace Frazee's rushing attack and all five return for this year's campaign.

All are seniors and all saw extensive time.

Nate Sandberg is back at center and will be surrounded by Matt Brower, Kyle Quittschreiber, Andrew Kunz and Devon Drewes.

Sophomore Brett Gildersleeve will also see time on the line, as well.

"These guys have been around for four years and their goal is to get onto the next level," Rader said.

That will also pertain to the defensive line, in which all five will take on, as well.

Drewes had a standout season last year and the others are not far behind.

Sophomore Baxter Bachmann will take on the quarterbacking duties as a first-year starter.

"Baxter is very athletic and can launch the ball," Rader said. "He has both rushing and passing skills."

Senior tight end Brandon VanWatermulen returns as the conference's leading touchdown receiver and will be joined by senior wide receiver Storm Green, juniors Rij Koehnen and Dan Janu.

Athleticism will also be seen in the linebacking unit, as Moltzan returns, along with outside backers VanWatermulen, Chris Burt and Rick Brandt.

Koehnen and Green also will anchor the Hornet secondary.

"We do have higher expectations this year, but we need to do it as a team," Rader said. "And the older guys understand the 'team' concept. It's never about 'me', but always about 'us.'"

Brian Wierima
Detroit Lakes Newspapers Sports Editor for the last 15 years. St. Cloud State University graduate, who hails from Deer Creek, MN.