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Raiders' 2010 youth turns into experience

Row 1: Jimmy Kohler, Ryan Olson, Tyler King, Westin Munson, Christopher Donovan, Jacob Torblea, Brady Mann, Tom Vohnoutka, Tim Brekken, Tory Haglund, Keagen Block, Aaron Felker, Elijah Beaudine. Row 2: Alex Lindsay, John Engeseth, Mathew Pepper, Wyatt Monroe, Tanner Riewer, Chance Kostreba, Dylan Hanson, Jon Olson, Mason Swegarden, Taylor Briard, Tyler Molacek, Jordan Lange. Row 3: Garret Munson, Jordan Lofgren, Mitchell Zerr, Alex Tangen, Nate Renner, Dylan Larson, Mike Hamre, Andrew Erickson, Isaac S...

When a team starts a bunch of young players, eventually those youngsters become seasoned veterans.

That's the route the Lake Park-Audubon Raiders took last year, with only three seniors on the roster. But those dividends of playing those inexperienced players will be paying off for the 2011 season.

"We'll have the same kids from last year, only a year older," said LP-A head coach Jed Swegarden. "They are talented, now they just have to step it up."

Speed will be the Raider's most vital weapon, with a trio of running backs possessing it, including junior Nate Renner, seniors Chase Zeller and Wyatt Wixo.

"They are super athletes and fast," Swegarden added. "The running backs won't be utilized as much in the passing game, though, because we do have some pretty good wide receivers, too. We'll keep the backs in to protect the quarterback."

Sophomore Mason Swegarden will be taking the snaps for the Raiders under center, which allows the move of Wixo to running back, where he can be more of a threat.

"Our QB's are asked to distribute the ball to our playmakers," coach Swegarden said. "Mason is knowledgeable about the game, which being a coaches' kid helps. I feel comfortable with Mason at QB."

The offensive line will also be solid, with the return of junior Matt Pepper, senior Jordan Lange and senior Bryce Bartunek.

"The team will be a bit more dynamic than it was a year ago," Swegarden noted.

The defense will also bring back a load of experience, including Pepper at middle linebacker and Wixo anchoring the defensive backfield. Bartunek will also man the defensive end position, making it tough to run the edges.

"We played well at times last season, but the defense needs to be more consistent and aggressive this year," Swegarden said.

With nine starters back, expectations are elevated, but there still needs to be hard work put out by the Raiders.

They will have to do it in one of the toughest sections in Section 6-1A, which includes Mahnomen, Pillager, West Central, Ottertail Central and Browerville.

"No matter what seed you have, it's going to be against a team who has traditionally been tough," Swegarden said. "It will be important to jockey yourself to get a home playoff game, just to get a little edge."

# Name Pos Grade

0 Aaron Falker WR 9

0 Alex Lindsey OG 11

0 Brady Man WR 9

0 Chris Donovan DE 9

0 Dylan Hanson DE 9

0 Garret Munson OT 11

0 Jacob Torblaa WR 9

0 James Forsberg RB 9

0 Jordan Lofgren DT 9

0 Keagan Block RB 9

0 Ryan Olson OT 9

0 Taylor Briard RB 9

0 Tim Brekken QB 9

0 Tory Haglund RB 9

0 Tyler King DT 0

0 Westin Munson OG 9

0 Wyatt Monroe OT 9

5 Wes Jaster WR 11

7 Mason Swegarden QB 10

11 Wyatt Wixo QB 12

14 Isaiah Pearson WR 10

15 Zach Tougas WR 12

17 Andrew Erickson WR 11

22 Logan Gage WR 12

33 James Kohler RB 11

34 Nate Renner RB 11

43 Chase Zeller RB 12

50 Matt Pepper OG 11

54 Tanner Riewer OL 10

55 Bryce Bartunek OL 12

58 Hunter Walz OL 12

60 Andy Pickett OG 12

63 John Engeseth WR 11

65 Mike Hamre OL 12

68 Greg Olson OL 12

71 Jordan Lange OL 12

76 Alex Tangen OL 11

77 Tyler Molacek OL 10

79 Chance Kostreba OL 10

80 Elijah Beaudine WR 12

81 Tommy Vohnoutka WR 10

82 Dalton Kohler WR 10

84 Dylan Omvig WR 12

85 Jon Olson WR 10

88 Dylan Larson WR 11

89 Isaac Svare TE 12

96 Mitch Zerr OL 10

Lake Park-Audubon Schedule

9/2 7:00 PM @ Walker-Hackensack

9/9 7:00 PM Fertile-Beltrami

9/16 7:00 PM @ Frazee

9/23 7:00 PM Fosston

9/30 7:00 PM Red Lake County Rebels

10/7 7:00 PM @ Mahnomen

10/14 7:00 PM @ Warren-Alvarado-Oslo

10/20 1:30 PM Pillager

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